People who know me well will tell you that the easiest and fastest way to get money out of me is to tell me you’re sick. I hate seeing people that helpless. Over the years, I’ve donated and also used my platform to raise money for several sick people, including Mayowa Ahmed.
Early morning on July 28, 2016, I received a call saying the #SaveMayowa campaign was a scam. The caller told me that Mayowa was terminally ill and her family had no intentions of using the money raised for her health to treat her. I was also told that there was no invitation from an Atlanta hospital and neither does Mayowa have a US visa.
The people who called me wanted me to blog about it quickly so that people could stop donating to the #SaveMayowa fund.
I found it hard to believe at first but it was coming from people who were directly involved in raising money for the sick woman.
I sent someone to Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, to investigate. When he got there all he saw was chaos.
The Nigerian police was already involved, people were being questioned. Some folks were shouting. He spoke to people in LUTH and many of them seemed confused.
I got back to the people who called me to alert me about the alleged scam, and they affirmed “1000%” that the #SaveMayowa fund was a scam.
I sincerely believe that at the time they told me this, they genuinely believed it to be a fact. I don’t think they were acting maliciously.
They went further to send me documents showing that there was no real involvement in Mayowa’s treatment by the hospital in Atlanta and the medial doctors at LUTH treating Mayowa denied knowledge of any fund raising for her, I believed their claims to be a fact and published the story.
My mistake, I think, was owning the story. In hindsight, I probably should have quoted my sources or maybe done some more investigations.
After investigating properly, the Nigerian police found that the #SaveMayowa fundraising was not a scam after all and the problems began when there were disagreements between the parties involved in helping raise money for her treatment.
I have spoken with the spokesperson of the Lagos State Police Command and she assured me that the family didn’t have any bad intentions when raising the money.
My apologies to the Ahmed family. My original blog post on the story has been removed from my blog.
The happy news is that Mayowa has been flown to South Africa for treatment. She left Nigeria on Thursday August 11, 2016.
May God use her case to show that He is God!
Let’s continue to pray for her!
Linda Ikeji is Nigeria’ top blogger, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. She owns Linda Ikeji’s Blog.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.