Members of the Liberian Senate have voted overwhelmingly against the construction of a national sports park adjacent the James Spriggs Airfield in Sinkor. The airport is named in honor of late Liberian President James Spriggs Payne, the last president from the defunct Republican Party.
The senators, during their Tuesday’s session voted that the proposed sports park intended for Invincible Eleven Majesty Sports Association be halted immediately the locality of the park is dangerous.
President George Manneh Weah had selected a portion of land right at the head of the James Spriggs Airfield as designated area for the construction, but senators argue the site is unsafe, as crashing of planes could result to huge human causalities.
Making the argument, Gbarpolu County Senator Daniel Naatehn said the sport park is a good thing which could provide young talents opportunities to develop themselves in various sports but the location could cause the more harm than good.
According to him, there are vast lands at the disposal of the government that it could take advantage of, but to only select a spot near the second largest airport in the country is detrimental to the very young people the government intends to help.
Debate over the project site was held under the watchful eyes of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, also president of the Liberian Senate. Opposition senators resisted anything that sounded wanting to keep the park there.
A motion was made by Senator Naatehn that the sports park be removed from the vicinity of the James Spriggs Airport and transferred to a better location, a motion seven senators voted for with five against.
However, Montserrado County Senator Saah Joseph from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change filed a motion for reconsideration.
According to the rules of the senate, a motion for reconsideration can only be upheld within three days of the senate and failure for that senator to make strong argument to overturn the earlier motion, plenary’s decision stands.
Recently, President Weah broke grounds for the Invincible Sports Park, a multi-purpose complex that will contain basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts, walking trails, a children’s playground, and an outdoor gym, together with adequate sanitary facilities.
During the ceremony Tuesday, 9 February in Sinkor, the President, a former Liberian international soccer star, said as a public park, the facility will be freely accessible and available to anyone and everyone who seeks to use it.
“Today has brought me yet another opportunity to share my dreams and aspirations for the happiness and well-being of our citizens, by providing modern recreational facilities that will contribute to their good health, wellbeing, and fitness,” Mr. Weah said.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne