…Hands-over N25M fund to Kogi community leaders in Lagos
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government has clarified that it has no plan to deny Mrs Mary Daniel, the amputee sachet-water hawker contrary to widespread reports on the social media of the state government freezing the fund.
Recall that on Wednesday, following discrepancy discovered in the claims of Daniels, 26, who recently received donations from Nigerians due to her situation, the Lagos State Government was reported to have directed the relevant ministry to hand over the matter to representatives of Kogi community leaders in the state and the state Police Command for further investigation.
A government source who preferred anonymity said that the directive became necessary after it was discovered that Daniel’s life story was staged and untrue after all.
It was discovered that the stories earlier narrated by the amputee were conflicting coupled with strange calls coming from people suspected to be those that she worked for before the discovery.
In what seemed to be a U-turn in a statement, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, while giving clarification on the case, confirmed that Daniel had raked in a whopping N25 million through “Go-fund-me” on the social media.
Responding to reporters’ questions on a radio programme, Star FM, on Thursday, Omotoso stated categorically that the State government has no plan of denying the lady of her huge donation.
He stated that all the state government had done was to ensure that the 26-year old amputee “remains unmolested and very safe to do whatever she intends to do with the money that she has so far raised in Lagos.”
Assuring that the state government had handed her over to Kogi Community leader in Lagos as well as Irede Foundation to guarantee her safety.
Omotoso stated that she is free to set up her dream supermarket store in Lagos State since it was here in Lagos that fortune smiled on her.
“This is a confirmation that Lagos State is a land of hope and opportunities,” Omotoso asserted.
Also, a statement from. the office of Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, titled: “Lagos government hands over amputee sachet-water hawker to kinsmen,” re-emphasised the safety condition of Daniel.
The statement read in part: “The state government has handed over Mary Daniel to the leader of the Igala (Kogi State) community in Lagos State.
“The Special Adviser, Office of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, while handing over Maryland to her kinsmen, assured of state government determined to protect all residents in the state, especially the vulnerable.
“Recall that Miss Daniel, whose story has attracted widespread attention, particularly in the social media, has been in the safe custody of the State government in the past two weeks.”
According to the state government, the ultimate desire was to ensure that Daniel becomes a civically responsible citizen in the state, adding that “she now has the resources to take care of herself and her baby and have a new lease of life.”
Princess Adebowale said the government took the step to shield Daniel from possible fraudsters who may target the funds donated to her by well-meaning Nigerians,” Omotoso said.
Adebowale, while handing over Daniel to the leader of the Igalas in the state, explained that the police were brought in to demonstrate that the state had taken good care of Daniel while in her custody and to ensure Daniel’s safety thereafter.
Adebowale added that the committee is to oversee Daniel’s rehabilitation and ensure that the donated funds are judiciously utilized for the improvement of her standard of living and that of her baby.
Daniel was later handed over to a committee comprising of the representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and the Leader of Igala community in Lagos State, Mr Sanni Yakubu Ejima in the presence of the Divisional Police Officer, Alausa and representative of the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command.