The Willie Knuckles Saga - A critical Analysis

By Aagon Gweh Linford

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
February 26, 2007


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 said!

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 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 places.

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.

© 2007 by The Perspective

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