Liberia: James Spriggs Payne Airport Residents Express Grateful for Invincible Park, New Housing Units

MONROVIA – The idea that birthed the construction of the Invincible Park did not only bring about the first modern recreational park in the country but also provided a life-changing opportunity to hundreds of residents near the James Payne Spriggs Airport who had squatted in the area for decades, living deplorably in makeshift structures. Now, they can boast of modern housing units to be owned by them free of charge.

Report by Lennart Dodoo and Willie N. Tokpah

President George M. Weah took the decision to construct the Invincible Park in February 2021 to honor the Invincible Eleven, the local football club that catapulted his football career.

The Invincible Sports Park was initiated to replace the famous Invincible Eleven Majesty Sports club known as I.E. Practice ground, near the James Payne Spriggs Field, Airfield Sinkor, as a way of developing the nation through sports.

His decision, however, came under heavy criticism due to its proximity to the airport. The airport has been out of commercial use.

Prior to the construction of the park, the open field served as a ground for open defecation. It was desecrated with feces. The dissertation of the area made surrounding communities prone to criminal activities.

In an interview with FrontPageAfrica, residents of the area which is now being dubbed Greenland Estate were grateful to Pres. Weah for coming to their rescue.

Love Jacobs told FrontPageAfrica that field used to be a risky zone, occupied by criminals, and served as the public latrine for the majority of the residents of the slum community.

“This field you see used to be our toilet ground, where men women, and children go to pupu, looking at each other,” he said.

She added, “Criminals used to run behind us on this field and harassed us for money or any valuable things. Armed robbers used to come and sit and harassed us when we are passing on the field.”

She also said construction of the housing units by President Weah now saves her from the regular harassment she received from the owner of the zinc shack she used to reside in.

She continued: “We have suffered in this community because the people suppressed us here. Those of us who were renting in zinc houses were thrown out and mocked due to lack of money. I and rats and other insects used to live in this place, but with these new structures, we will be all right here. Sickness will not easily bother us.”

Ma-Venue Gardea, another resident of the area, also informed FrontPageAfrica that she had lived in that vicinity for over 20 years and to see such a modern structure along with a park that will benefit her children is like a dream.

She expressed hope that President Weah will do more developments across Liberia.

“For him to build houses for us the less fortunate people, we tell him thanks, because this is very important for us and we know he will do more,” Madam Gardea said.

Shena Hawa Bonageh could not hold her tears when asked about her impression of the park and the estate. She said it was tears of joy.

“Since I was born, my parents have not told me a story like this before and I have not seen in other places, what George Weah has done for us. He broke our rotten houses and built modern ones. Thank you, George Weah, because he said we should not carry anything in the house, but only clothes,” Shena noted.

Another beneficiary of the estate, Marconi A. Cooper coined a new name for President Weah, terming him “Mat-Round” Medicine.

“We been living in deplorable condition, but with this house and estate, I call him ‘Mat-Round Medicine’ because he is taking me from mat-house to this estate,” he said.

Madam Cooper who had lived in the area said she faced similar bad living conditions for 15-years, living in a shanty structure without a latrine facility, no safe drinking water facility, but used the now Invincible Park as a latrine.

The Invincible Park

The Invincible Park would be dedicated by President Weah today. The Park consists of a football pitch, a basketball court, a tennis ball court, a children’s playground, a VIP lounge, among others. It is President Weah’s flagship program for sports development in the country.

President Weah also broke ground for the construction of a similar park in the PHP Community. He says it is his vision to ensure that every community gets a sports park.

The new Invincible Park in the heart of Sinkor, Monrovia. Another is going up in PHP in Central Monrovia. The plan is to have one in each county. George Weah is certainly going down as the infrastructure president, the Ministry of Information disclosed.

The official opening of the park has attracted several international football legends to Liberia who will grace with opening with a football match between African Football Legends versus Liberia Football Legends.

Also, former PSG coach during the time of the legendary George Weah, Luiz Fernandez, is expected in town as well as a delegation from FIFA and Qatar.

The African soccer legends gracing the opening of the Invincible Park include:

Samuel Eto’o, Kwame Ayew & wife, Didier Drogba, Sekou Coulibaly, Alian Guamini, Yousouf Fofana, Rocky Russell, Emmanuel Adebayor, German Smith, Andre Wauyh, Khalilou Fadiga, Cisse Bakare, JJ Okocha and Kalusha Bwalya.

For the Liberia All Stars, the goal keepers are: Pewu Bestman and Nathaniel Sherman

Defenders: Thomas Kojo, Janjay Jacobs, Fallah Johnson, George Gebro, Nuku Granueand Trokon Kpuie.

The midfielders include Kelvin Sebwe, Oliver Major, Dgeorges Mulbah, Joe Nagbe, Daniel Ziankahn, Sekou Kalasco and Boakai Foday.

For Strikers, we’ll have Pepci Yeke, James Debah, Johnathan Sogbie, Chris Wreh, Len Eugène Nagbe, Perry Kollie and Philip Tarlue.

The match would be played this Saturday.

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