The True Story Of A Generational Traitor Who Sold A True Comrade-In Arms To State Security For $Usd10,000
An opinion by Vandalark R. Patricks
I was shocked when I heard that the President of the Republic, Mr. George Manneh Weah, has sacked with immediate effect the Acting Director General of the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), Wilmot Smith, and the Deputy Director General of Statistics and Data Processing, Alex M. Williams.
But my attention is drawn to the highly incompetent Deputy Director General, Mr. Alex Williams. Is Liberia serious? Imagine the President was brave enough to appoint a clown, highly unqualified, and the chronically corrupt kid to such a technical position. I did not know that this crook was sitting in that highly respected and technical position while the most qualified still languished in poverty with no place to utilize their technical skills.
What were Alex’s qualifications before being sent to that position? This corrupt kid, Alex, was appointed Deputy Director for Statistics in 2018. He had a common Bachelor in Demography and had only worked as a mere “Enumerator.” Can you imagine that? The man occupying this position held a Doctorate Degree (Ph.D.) under Ellen’s regime. LIGIS had experts with over 10-15 years of experience in statistics and demography. They removed a man with Ph.D. in statistics and appointed a mere “war room vote counter and pool watcher” to head that technical position. Isn’t that an ordained corruption?
The President was really brave to have appointed this half-baked college graduate and a pool watcher in 2018 as Deputy Director General to that technical position to update Liberians and the global community with statistics on the population. Jesus!
Let’s be clear here: when you are corrupt, you are INCOMPETENT. This kid is corrupt, so he is incompetent! When people are appointed to public office, they expect them to take INTEGRITY CREDENTIALS with them, not their academic credentials. People are appointed to serve the public interest, and if they deviate from that, what else can we say? This was a pure witch, and I doubt if the President ever interacted with him before his appointment. If Alex William could sell his best friend for $USD10,000 when he had no power and authority, he could loot state coffers to satisfy his thirst for money and live a luxurious life.
Alex Brutal Betrayal for Money
My encounter with Alex Williams and five of his friends was brutal and horrifying. The year was 2013. I had announced a protest against the President of Liberia, demanding reform in policies and fighting against corruption. Specifically, I utilized articles 1 and 17 of the Liberian constitution to assemble at the capitol during her state of the nation address. We wanted to remind her about the suffering of our people, especially at the hands of some of her corrupt officials.
Top loyalists of the President met with the National Security Agency of Liberia and the Liberia National Police four days before the peaceful assembly and discussed my arrest secretly. I got intelligence from hardcore comrades employed at the NSA and the LNP asking me to be on the watch out. So, I was strategic and deployed my guys on some top security personnel at the NSA and the Liberia National Police to keep daily surveillance. But I overlooked something, and that was my surroundings. I had known Alex Williams from Tubman High, where he served as a student leader. My institution, Campaigners for Change International, paid his tuition twice at that institution.
I had considered him a comrade-in-arms, given our existing comradeship. I had no idea he would sell me for money. Sad.
The night before his deal was sealed to hand me over to my would-be kidnappers, Alex called to inform me that he would be part of our assembly and wanted to meet and discuss it with me. I was strategic but given my cordial relationship with him and knowing him to be a partisan of the Students Unification Party (SUP), which has a fraternal relationship with the Cuttington Unification Party (CUP) that I once served as an Executive Committee member, I invited him.
We met on VP Road, Old Road, on January 28, 2013, at about 9:00 pm at Folly Entertainment. He came with five other comrades; I remember their faces very well but not their names. Two were from SUP, and the rest were from the Student Integration Movement, SIM. As a former student leader, I knew all of them because I engaged them in the famous political palaver hut at the University of Liberia.
Upon their arrival, I offered them drinks, and while they were catching their heads, Alex was consistently on the phone. I suspected Alex was up for something different because he was constantly texting. When I walked to ask what he was doing, he responded, “my man, I am texting my girl,” and I relaxed. Lies!
After a while, I informed him I was going home to get prepared for operations the following day, but he and his colleagues opted to sleep with me that night so we could all assemble at the capitol the next day.
Walking home, Alex was on the phone texting until I asked him to cease immediately, but it was late. When we passed the ACS, now American International School located on Old Road, five armed police vehicles and NSA agents arrived in a speeding mood. I wanted to resist, but it was late. But I had prepared a draft text message and kept it on my phone. It was meant to be sent out immediately to my partners worldwide in case of danger. The text read, “Hello, what I told you about has happened. I am now in the hands of the NSA and the armed police officers. I am being taken to an unknown destination. Please act now to save my life”.
So, the moment I was arrested, I knew I was no more. Death threats were all I could hear. I immediately hit my “send to all button,” and the message was going to all my international contacts on my phone. That phone had only my international contacts-journalists, human rights defenders, and policymakers. When the officers realized that text messages were going from my phone, one of the men leading the operation, Samuel Nimely (PI), seized my phone, cut it off, and took the sim out. At that point, the traitor, Alex Williams, was asked to get in the front seat of RL-52, and this vehicle belonged to the Deputy Director of EPS for Operations.
I was handcuffed, placed in another car, and taken to the Liberia National Police Headquarters. When we arrived, Alex Williams was greeted by Col. Chris Massaquoi and three top officers from the NSA. During the conversation, I recognized Gregory Coleman, a senior comrade from Cuttington and a member of my party, CUP.
He looked me in the face and told Chris, “Chief, this guy is harmless,” A CUPIST will never betray a true-comrade-in-arms.
But Col. Christ Massaquoi might have been under direct instructions, so he did not listen. While he was on the phone speaking in security codes, thinking I was innocent, one of the officers came running saying, “chief, operations spoil. It has leaked”.
My overseas contacts may have called him directly due to the text messages I previously sent. But he continued speaking with a higher-up in government and looked terrified. I heard everything he was saying in security codes. He did not know I understood the principles used by state security to communicate in codes. Finally, he decided that I be taken to the NSA. “Take the suspect to the NSA now,” and the order was immediately obeyed.
In less than 20 minutes, I was bundled in one of the black vehicles while three others followed. They speeded with me to the NSA, and the moment we arrived, I saw that the NSA was prepared. For a deadly operation on me, well, I do not know. We met one slim young guy who introduced himself as 105. “So da you are planning to overthrow the government, eh?” he asked me, but I gave no response. I was speechless. I was taken to a very dark room.
I was denied food and water for three days, followed by severe physical and psychological torture. What surprised me was that the Government of Liberia issued a press statement telling the protesting crowd, the public, and its partners that I was never arrested. According to the government, they were also searching for me. Black Lies!
They even told the public that whoever located me would have a handsome reward. But my biggest disappointment was the SILENCE of Alex Williams. He would have spoken to give the gloomy picture about my arrest to save my life and stop the lies coming from the government, but he did not. Alex and his colleagues did not speak out when there was a public outcry for my release. They kept very silent while I was tortured severely at the NSA. He appears very innocent but wicked, terrible, and hypocritically appetizing.
But PRAYER was my answer in my cell. One night while praying, I saw a man in white appear in the sky, smiling at me. It was between “wake and sleep.” It seemed as if I was in a different location. All I could hear from this man was, “Do not be afraid. “It went on repeatedly, but when I attempted to look him in the face, the flashing lights were so bright that I had a bow. After a while, I immediately came to myself and heard a heavy noise at the NSA from protesters and some diplomats. When they left, Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe, and Cllr. Alfred Brownell showed up and demanded my release.
Col. Hodge was professional in allowing them in, and discussions were held, which led to my hurry arrangement in court to answer charges of Sedition and Criminal Conspiracy. These two lawyers, including Cllr. Negbalee Warner stood in my defense until I was acquitted. I am grateful they saved my life.
Only God can pay these individuals! I will STAND by them any day once they do what is right!
We must be careful whom we appoint to public office, primarily when they are known to be thirsty for money and material wealth. For the past years, LIGIS has been at the center of controversy due to widespread corruption, and we wonder why it was happening.? It is simple. State hyenas, known to feed on state resources, were appointed to that strategic institution to loot at and amass wealth.
I am sad for my country.
That is, we will not be spectators in 2023. Liberia has become an emergency, requiring everyone to act now. Thanks, President Weah, for dismissing those state hyenas and mafias who feed on state resources to quench their thirst for riches. We call on you, Mr. President, to immediately set up an independent investigation to probe them. They must be examined for causing a national embarrassment to the country.
-Alex and I are not enemies, so I kept quiet to allow him to prove his integrity when he was appointed as Deputy Director General at LIGIS. But it has become a moral necessity to narrate this for people to know why LIGIS is being handled like this.
-I have reconciled with PI Nimely, and he remains my big brother. I hold nothing against him, his family, and his friends. I hope we can go hunting together someday because he loves hunting birds.
-I have also forgiven big brother Chris Massaquoi. Life has to go on, and we will drink beer one day.
-Col. Hodge, Deputy Director for Operations at the NSA, remains one of Liberia’s best NSA experts and my big bro. Though he ordered my torture and severe flogging, at one point, he realized politicians were not using me as they had construed. He saw I was very innocent of the allegation of planning to overthrow a sitting government and was only acting based on conviction to keep the government’s feet on fire. I forgive him and hope to have lunch with him someday. We move!
-However, I will not reveal the names of the remaining three comrades from SIM, who joined Alex Williams to sell me to state security for money. They will be mentioned in my book. I see them, and we interact daily. To them, I have forgotten, but John F. Kennedy said, “forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”