Mary Daniel, a 27-year-old amputee hawker, has apologized for deceiving sympathetic Nigerians by saying 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.
Sani Yakubu Ejima, the leader of the Igala tribe in Lagos debunked rumors of her arrest, stating she was handed over to a committee who worked alongside Irede Foundation to assist Ms Daniel set up a business.
They set up a committee. I’m part of that committee and with Irede foundation and co, that Mary will be set up. They asked that she come up with a business idea, they arrived at a conclusion that when Mary finds out what she wants to do, they will establish her. So Mary said she wants to run a supermarket and after everything, they handed her over to me, after that, I brought her home,” he said.