The NewDawn has received reports that former State and Presidential Affairs Minister Willie Knuckles, has died in Ghana. The cause of death has not been formerly established, but it is believed that he died of natural cause.
Mr. Knuckles served as Minister of State for Presidential Affairs during the first term of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. He was a publisher and former journalist. His death has been described as a great loss to the State, particularly President Sirleaf as he was one of her key political strategists during the 1997, 2005 and 2011 elections.
The late Knuckles was chief architect of a future capital the President had dreamt of in Yekepa, Nimba County. But the dream was short-lived due to funding difficulty.
Willie or “Junior Boy”, as he was affectionately called, will be remembered in various roles and capacities. Two years prior to the 2011 poll, he set up project offices across the country and in 2005 was credited for organizing the largest and famous October 6 peaceful march in Monrovia.
He also attracted public attention following his appointment as Minister of Public Works with no engineering experience, but established a blue print which his successors followed at the ministry.
In Cayresburg, Montserrado County, he played an iconic role and had a street named after him. Mr. Knuckles worked with the Mayor of Cayresburg, Mr. Benoni Urey to organize the city’s 150th anniversary. His love for children was beyond description and was affectionately called by residents as “Junior Boy.”
However, he hit the waterloo after Madam Sirleaf’s election in 2005 when news broke of his involvement in deviant sexual practices, which forced him to resign from the cabinet.