Leadership (Abuja)

20 January 2013

Nigeria: Tight Security in White House Ahead Obama's Monday Inauguration

Security agencies in the United States have increased security to safeguard lives and properties of Americans ahead Monday's inauguration of President Barrack Obama who was on November 6, 2012, elected for a second term.

Checks by our correspondent showed that the American president and his team have been meeting with security chiefs in the country to ensure that terrorists do not make attacks on the country's citizens during the swearing-in- ceremony.

However, with the President's re-election, hundreds of American officials busily planning the 57th Presidential Inauguration have kicked it into high gear.

The historic event which is scheduled for January 21, 2013 at the Capitol has dozens of departments, committees, and law enforcement agencies preparing for the masses to flood the city and watch the first black president take his second oath of office.

For over two months now, members of Congress have been receiving their collective 240,000 tickets to the ceremony, printed by the Government Printing Office, which they can dole out to constituents, staff, family and friends.

Shortly after the November F presidential election, officials of the White House said that workers with the Architect of the Capitol (AoC) were hammering away in near freezing temperatures constructing the giant wooden platform that will seat 1,600 lawmakers, former presidents, justices, cabinet officials, joint chiefs, and diplomats from across the world. Even Hurricane Sandy didn't deter the stage's erection.

The AOC had a long list of preparations that it had been working on, including: setting up security fencing, running cable for television news networks, setting up trash bins, placing more than 30,000 chairs, procuring a sound system that will reach down the National Mall, decorating the Capitol with flags and buntings, laying carpet, selecting and hanging pictures in the VIP holding rooms, constructing ramps for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and readying scores of blankets and ponchos to be distributed if necessary.

There are weather contingency plans to move the inauguration indoors if it's raining or snowing heavily. The move likely would be to the Capitol's Rotunda, as was done during President Reagan's second Inauguration.

Security plans have also consumed the attention of the U.S. Capitol Police, the Secret Service, the House and Senate sergeant at arms, the FBI, and the joint military task force, among other agencies.

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