I was shocked when a friend
called me a few days ago, as we do usually, to inform
me of an alleged sex scandal involving one Willie Knuckles
in Liberia. The brother of my friend had just returned
to the US from a visit to Liberia and he narrated the
story. The name Willie Knuckles rang a bell in my ears
and I asked my friend to call his brother to clarify which
Willie Knuckles...maybe it could be Willie Knuckles, jr.
- if he has any. The point of my skepticism regarding
the identity of the man involved in this alleged sex scandal
was simple but well grounded. First of all, I have known
this name, since my childhood days growing up in Monrovia,
as an ardent football lover. The name Willie Knuckles
is synonymous to the LFA and other football activities
in Liberia. Besides, He is one of the few big guys whose
names have never been mentioned in corrupt practices,
not to my knowledge, though I have been out of Liberia
for a protracted period now.
My friend called me back , a few minutes later, and confirmed
the story and referred me to a website that I could read
the story and see the nude Minister of Presidential Affairs
in a three-some sexual act. I was speechless and tried
for hours to come to terms with the motive behind such
degree of indecency on the part of a statesman. Many questions
and arguments baffled my thought.
Who took the photograph? When was it taken? Before the
minister assumed his responsibility as a top state functionary
or after? Was he aware of the risk involved that such
pictures could change hands and land in unscrupulous ones?
Was there a fourth party at the scene of the three-some
orgy? Would the once honorable minister ignore his privacy
and those of the ladies and pose for such indecent and
disturbing photograph? Was this the first time Willie
Knuckles found himself in such a second degree unfaithful
act since the minister claims he has been married for
37 years? Or like many other big guys do in Liberia, was
the minister using his fame, power and money to induce
the ladies? Is it that Mr. Knuckles is a member of sex
gangbang? Did the minister, out of sheer disregard for
his portfolio, choose to reduce himself to a porno star
maybe intending to hit Hollywood?
Well, the list of questions would grow and grow. But let
me deviate a bit and focus on the letter of apology written
by Mr. Knuckles. In his letter, the minister pointed an
accusing finger at former House Speaker Edwin Snowe and
his wife, Mrs. Mardea White-Snowe for masterminding the
spread of the photograph both on the streets and on the
internet. He mentioned the long running political rivalry
between him and Mr. Snowe which resulted into pressure
that forced the Speaker to step down a few days ago. He
accused the Snowes of circulating the photograph in revenge
to his constant political opposition to Mr. Snowe. Well
The minister's accusation against the Snowes also leaves
many questions than answers. I would not want to venture
into some of the questions as the Snowes have vindicated
themselves and in fact, requesting a full scale investigation
into the allegations levied against them.
The minister in his letter of apology also extended thanks
to his family members including his wife for 37 years
for what he called their support. Gracious God! I have
one question for the minister regarding his wife.. I do
not want to be personal here... but would you Willie Knuckles
forgive your wife and give her your support if she was
caught in such a situation with clear photograph like
you? All my respect to you, Mrs. Knuckles! You will win
the admiration of everyone at home and abroad.
The minister in his letter also thanked his boss, President
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for supporting him - interesting
to hear. A friend of mine, who grew up in Liberia when
her parents worked with LAMCO at the time, is a keen observer
on activities about Liberia and she has great interest
in Liberia as her second home. She reads the perspective.org
and she is very much abreast of developments in Liberia.
She asked me if I believe the minister is telling the
truth about the support he is getting from the president.
I wonder too like many Liberians in the Diaspora. The
Minister of State for Presidential Affairs caught on camera
in an indecent sexual act receiving maximum support from
the president without any measure taken so far by the
government? Are there many in government like Willie Knuckles?
Men and women in high places in the society are role models
and we cannot afford to practice the culture of impunity
for the higher ups, while the lower class suffers for
similar offenses. I have read much about the government’s
strict measures against rapists in Liberia in recent times.
I whole heartedly embrace the idea because our dear Liberian
women have suffered much ill-treatment at the hands of
their male counter-parts for too long and if there are
any such strategic measures designed to redeem them and
restore their dignities, it is worth our support. As we
witness this event, we are told that there are several
accused rapists waiting behind bars for court prosecution.
But if the claims by Willie Knuckles are true that President
Ellen-Johnson Sirleaf is supporting his public nuisance,
then I beg to differ with this sheer hypocrisy in high
The scandal does not only affect Willie Knuckles as an
individual, it affects the government of Liberia, the
reputation of a nation recovering from war, it hangs dark
clouds over the entire composition of the government,
especially so with the culprit allegedly receiving unflinching
support from the president..
Finally, I am appealing to President Johnson-Sirleaf to
suspend Willie Knuckles from the position he holds presently
until this matter is settled. Do something, Madam President.
Liberians are looking at you, the opposition is watching
you, Africa is following your progress and activities,
the world is taking records.
The writer is a Liberian journalist, living and studying
in the Royal Kingdom of Norway.