The sudden demise of Mayowa Ahmed has left many in great shock but her death was caused by many forces who were against the poor woman.
Mayowa Ahmed and Toyin Aimakhu
Mayowa Ahmed the cancer patient Nigerians raised millions of naira to save from Ovarian cancer died this afternoon in far away South Africa.
But, her death will not be one to be forgotten in a hurry.
When news broke of her condition, a popular celebrity, Toyin Aimakhu took it upon herself to solicit for funds by making a video which helped greatly in raising funds for Mayowa. So did other celebrities but in their own different ways.
But, things took a different turn when Aimakhu after the kind gesture raised alarm that the family of Mayowa had hijacked the money raised for her by kind-hearted Nigerians for a fraudulent purpose. She told millions of Nigerians thus:
"In view of the recent happenings around Mayowa Ahmed's ill health and the many allegations of fraud surrounding the funds raised, it has become imperative that I come clean by stating my side of the story and by implications, set the record straight.
"When I got wind of Mayowa’s sickness, I was moved to tears and immediately sought to know how I could help, hence my on-the-spot video which went viral as my genuine intervention.
"Indeed, I was overwhelmed by the quick response of well-meaning Nigerians to whom I will forever owe a debt of gratitude.
"But all this changed yesterday, Thursday 28th, July, when I went to the hospital in the morning to check as well as follow up on Mayowa. Her brother had told everyone to leave them alone because they wanted privacy. Although I was shocked at the sudden change in attitude, especially the tone of communication, I still did not suspect anything was amiss.
"However, on my way out, I received a call from one Aramide Kasumu of Life Stake Foundation, who would later claim the whole Mayowa Ahmed fund raiser was a scam. Importantly, she wanted to know the extent of my involvement and in her words, “so that when they are giving their reports, I would not be roped into it”.
"She went further to state that the family deceived everyone in the first place by raising funds for Mayowa despite the fact that her case was helpless and the hopes of her survival was near impossible. She seemed to know so much, I reckoned."
Upon getting this information, Aimakhu reported the matter to the police, and news of the latest allegation against Mayowa and her family went viral that the #SaveMayowa was a fraud.
That was where the problem started as Nigerians began asking questions as insinuations rent the air. No one knew what to believe again. Some aligned with Aimakhu broadcasting to the whole world that the #SaveMayowa was a big fraud. The family of the sick woman was left in a tight hole, held in there looking vulnerable as they did not know which other step to follow as the woman in need of medical attention had her account which had the money to save her life frozen after the police weilded into the matter. It became another drag-and-leave game as the poor girl continued to suffer without the urgent attention she needed while the controversy continued.
The worst of it all came when popular blogger, Linda Ikeji released her bombshell saying authoritatively that the #SaveMayowa campaign was a BIG FRAUD. Nigerians went crazy as they blasted the family of the poor girl. Mayowa was left in perpetual agony, in a state of emotional limbo where progress was unheard of while the whole drama played out. Mayowa's account was frozen as she could not have access to the money she needed for treatment until the police concluded its investigation. But, that was a grave mistake as the poor girl's life chalked away sadly.
After investigation was concluded, the police authoritatively said that the #SaveMayowa campaign was NOT A SCAM, but by then, the damage has already been done. There was no way of recovering the spilt milk as Mayowa's life was given away via social media gambling.
Linda Ikeji in the midst of the controversy along with many others who had lied about the #SaveMayowa campaign were forced to issue statements.
Linda apologized to Nigerians for writing the damaging and false story, Aimakhu did the same. But, all was done in vain because the time Mayowa had the chance to be saved, people who believed they know more than others used it to play sentiment, get views and popularity.
It is sad that this fine and young woman's life was lost on the corridors of social media gamble. It is sad that she has left this way and now, what will be of all those who lied and cursed her family for trying to save the soul of their dear daughter.
The world will forever remember you, Mayowa.
Alexander Thandi Ubani writes from Lagos