My Grandmother Behind My Ordeal And Why I Lied That My Father Was Dead — Amputee Hawker Clarifies, Begs For Forgiveness
Mary Daniel, the amputee hawker who has recently been accused of not being completely truthful about her condition, has apologized to Nigerians.
The 27-year-old single mother received N25million donations from Nigerians who were moved by claims that she lost her leg in an accident that claimed the life of all passengers, including her parents.
However, it’s been claimed that there was no accident and she was amputated “from birth”, a claim she denies. It was also reported that her father is still alive.
Speaking to SaharaReporters, Mary said she made a mistake by saying her father was dead, but she did so because the man abandoned her.
Mary denied claims that her presence in Oshodi was staged to garner sympathy.
She said she’s been hawking for a while to make ends meet.
She explained that she used to hawk in Onitsha, Anambra state, from where she moved to Asaba in Delta state and then to Lagos.
She also denied claims that she had been receiving strange calls from the people who staged her story as they want their share of her fortune.
She told SaharaReporters that it was her maternal grandmother who had been making the calls to demand for money even after she sent her N200, 000.
As for lying about being in an accident, she claimed there was nothing to lie about as it’s obvious she is an amputee who lost a leg.
She said: “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.
“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. I made a big mistake; Nigerians should please forgive me.
“I want to open a supermarket in Lagos. I have always been a pure water hawker. Lagos is not the first place, I started from Onitsha, from there, I sold pure water in Asaba from there I came to Lagos. I don’t beg, even in my condition, I hawk that water so I can survive. That’s the business I have always been doing.
“I really appreciate the Lagos state government, Mr Idris, the hotel man that gave me accommodation, that celebrated my birthday. I also appreciate Princess Aderemi, for all the support and everyone that helped. I promise not to fail Nigerians.”
Also speaking, His Royal Highness, Sani Yakubu Ejima, Onu Igala, leader of the Igala people in Lagos and chairman of all the Kogi Igala traditional rulers in Lagos told the publication that Mary Daniel was not handed over to the police as some reports had claimed.
According to him, the Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Civic Engagement, Aderemi Adebowale, handed Daniel over to a committee, including Irede Foundation and to him so they can assist Daniel in setting up a business.
Sheikh Gumi: I Will Lock Aso Rock If My Child Is Kidnapped
Sheikh Ahmad Gumi: “How I will wipe away Aso Rock if my child is abducted is unbearable”
Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, a well-known Islamic cleric, has threatened to lock Aso Rock if his child is kidnapped.
He said this in an interview with BBC Pidgin on Friday.
On Wednesday, the cleric urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to pay the abductors of Greenfield University students who were abducted in April the N100 million requested by the abductors.
On Friday, Gumi addressed the issue once more, saying that the federal government would choose between saving students’ lives and paying the N100 million.
“Life versus material; that is how you will look at it. It is the absolute responsibility of the government to protect lives. Now we have lives or N100 million at stake and these lives of 17 innocent young children,” he said.
“I can’t imagine if my child is there. I can never keep quiet. I will go and lock Aso Rock, if my child is there. They are my children too.
“What is N100 million? So, what I’m saying is, free these children then the field is open for you to whatever action you have. It is between bandits and N100 million. I do not want the struggle between bandits and lives.
“This is just simple logic. It does not require any rocket science. How can you play with lives? You can play with your money, but you can’t play with peoples’ lives. They just went there to study.”
22 Teenage Girls From Akwa Ibom Rescued From Ogun Brothel (Photo)
Operatives of the Ogun State Police Command have rescued 22 teenage girls who were lured away from Akwa Ibom State to Ogun for prostitution.
The command’s spokesman, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi in a statement on Saturday, said the police in an operation, coordinated by the Area Commander Ota, ACP Muhideen Obe, rescued the girls.
He said the police team, upon credible intelligence received, that minors were being recruited from other states and used as commercial sex workers at KOLAB hotel in Itele Ota, stormed the said brothel at about 8.00pm, where the 22 teenagers whose ages ranged between 10 and 14 were rescued.
On interrogation, the girls narrated how they were lured from their respective villages in Akwa Ibom State to Ogun, with the promise to employ them as sales girls in restaurants and supermarkets, only for them to get to Lagos and were transferred to a brothel in Ogun State as commercial sex workers.
They narrated further that, they were deprived of using phone or any communication devices, therefore, making it impossible for them to reach out to their parents or relations.
The manager of the brothel, Isaac Ogbaji, 33, and ten other male suspects were also arrested during the operation.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, CP Edward Awolowo Ajogun, has ordered that the family support unit of the Area Command, Ota should take over the investigation of the case, identify the recruiting cartel and bring them to justice as soon as possible.
Kidnappings and education in the north
After 2018 Dapchi kidnap in Yobe State, we had thought that school kidnapping is a barbarity left in the pit of our inglorious past. Alas, that is not the case. The recent orgy of school kidnappings which had brought hues and cries from all the orifices of the North has kept one popping antacid, wondering: why the North again? Why kidnappings again in a region where kids should rather be encouraged to go to school, no thanks to the anachronistic Almajiri system. Why again in a region which harbours 69 per cent of out-of-school Nigerian children.
North as a region with dilapidated educational system, should rather be made secure so female students can be sensitised on reasons to take their studies to tertiary level before or after which their hands could be given out in marriage.
Education is already hitting its nadir in the North. Kidnappers would dig deeper. Innocent kids would be scared, so scared of going to school. More kids would wander on the streets of the North. And the few that would manage to continue are still not guaranteed safety out of their school premises. Such is the unsafe state of not just the North, but Nigeria.
Insecurity has gotten to the acme of its control; the whole of Nigeria is its palace. North is where its blood-consuming throne is placed. If care is not taken, innocent kids that kidnapping would chase out of schools are those who will extend the base of banditry in the future. God forbid that happens.
The Federal Government has got a lion share of the responsibility. No nation is secure without a friendly atmosphere and a sound economy. Northern men tend to do the hardest tasks that could cross one’s mind; yet, the debilitating economy has made living harder for them and every other citizen. You can’t make people hungry and have security. The more the hunger, the more insecurity and no goodwill this have on the safety of innocent school children.
Kids deserve to go to school with rest of mind. The thought of getting kidnapped is unfortunately what Nigeria has left popping on their unripe minds. It is high time North brought this barbarity to a halt. Absolute security is the first right students are entitled to in education. No student should choose between being safe or going to school.
Hashim Yussuf Amao,
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