Twenty seven year old amputee hawker, Mary Daniel, has asked to be forgiven for deceiving sympathetic Nigerians by claiming her father was late.
Ms Daniel received massive donations from Nigerians, running up to N25 million, after pictures of her, hawking sachet water in the sturdy traffic of Lagos, went viral online.
Things however turned awry for her when the Lagos State Government discovered discrepancies in her records of her background she had earlier shared. Ms Daniel had claimed she was an orphan with a baby to care for, eliciting more sympathy from donors.
The Lagos State Government stopped her from accessing the cash gift generously donated by Nigerians after she was exposed for lying.
In an interview on Thursday, Ms Daniel pleaded to be forgiven by those who sympathised and supported her. She explained her reason for pronouncing her father dead was due to his negligence towards her as a father after her accident.
“Nigerians should forgive me. People that stay on the streets and in noisy places, they hardly have a settled mind and I said my father is late so Nigerians can help me. I made a big mistake; Nigerians should please forgive me,” she pleaded.
“My father abandoned me since I was involved in this accident, there was no one to take care of me, nothing! That was why I said he’s dead. But my mother is truly dead. I had an accident truly; I was not amputated from birth,” she said.
She said it was her grandmother who had been calling her to demand for a share of her donations.
“It was my grandmother that called me that she does not have anything, that if I have, I should send it. I said let me give her small money so she can use it to manage herself for now. I wanted to send N100, 000, I sent N200, 000 instead.
“She called me and asked why I sent her such a meagre amount, that, do I think she doesn’t know what’s going on, that how will people be contributing money for me and all I do is to send N200, 000. She said I’d rather send more money or she will expose me and I will go back to selling pure water.
“I was shocked and asked what sort of thing is this. She’s my maternal grandmother, she is really old. My aunties and uncles from my mother’s side are the ones pushing my grandmother into this and if she continues like this, later she will regret it.
“I have told her to calm down that I will take care of her but she refused. She is busy following her children around, making videos, that’s their business. Nigerians should forgive me. People that stay on the streets and in noisy places, they hardly have a settled mind and I said my father is late so Nigerians can help me.