27-year-old amputee sachet water hawker, Mary Daniel, accused of manipulating Nigerians to get donations, has apologized for not being completely truthful about her condition.
Mary Daniel became a sensation weeks ago after pictures of her selling water at Oshodi emerged on social media and attracted sympathy from Nigerians across the world.
The single mother received N25 million donations from Nigerians who were touched by her claims that “she lost her leg in an accident that claimed the life of all passengers, including her parents.”
All was going well for the young lady until Lagos State Government discovered on Thursday that her father was alive and she was amputated from birth, not as a result of an accident.
It was also discovered that the amputee’s mother truly died but was not through an auto crash as earlier narrated by Mary after arriving Oshodi where she was discovered last month.
It was gathered that Mary was receiving strange calls from those who staged her story with threats to reveal the truth unless she gave them their share of the money.
Lagos State Government has withheld the N25m raised for the amputee because “it does not want a situation where it will become a trend for people to cook up stories, manipulate the people to get donations.”
While speaking to SaharaReporters, Mary asked Nigerians to forgive her for lying that her father was dead, which according to her was because he abandoned her after her accident.
She refuted allegations that her story was staged, stating that she had been hawking sachet water despite being an amputee because she does not know how to beg for alms but rather work to survive.
Mary also revealed that the “strange calls” she was receiving was from her maternal grandmother, who was sad that she only got N200,000 from her N25m donations so far.
“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.
“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’ (satchet) 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.”
KanyiDaily had also reported how a Nigerian man bandoned his lover and their three children because his mother wants him to marry a university graduate in Abia State.