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I’ve Forgiven Dad For Abandoning Me Since Childhood – Lagos Amputee Water Hawker Turned Landlady

Posted By on July 18, 2021 0

Mary Daniel came to the limelight in March after Saturday PUNCH reported her uncommon courage to eke out a living by hawking water in traffic.


Mary Daniel

Sunday PUNCH reports that the story of Mary Daniel, a 27-year-old single mum amputee who hawked bottled water on the highways in Oshodi, Lagos, has seemingly ended happily as she opened a N17.5m storey building she bought from donations made by generous donors within and outside Nigeria.

On the expansive premises of the house in the Igando area of the state, a sachet water factory belonging to Daniel is also nearing completion. The house comprises four apartments of two bedrooms each. The house-warming held on Saturday in the presence of Daniel’s kinsmen led by Onu Igala in Lagos, Sanni Yakubu.

This is just as the elated landlady said she had forgiven her father for allegedly abandoning her.

Daniel came to the limelight in March after Saturday PUNCH reported her uncommon courage to eke out a living by hawking water in traffic.

She had told our correspondent that her parents died in an accident where she also lost her leg.

Dropping out at Junior Secondary School 3, she took to the streets in Onitsha, Anambra State, selling sachet water to cater to herself and her aged grandmother.

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She was impregnated in 2018 by her fiancé who she said denied responsibility for the pregnancy, forcing her to relocate to Delta State out of shame.

The native of Kogi State continued the taxing trade in the oil-rich state even after giving birth. She relocated to Lagos in March, hawking bottled water in chaotic traffic and passing the night on the balcony of a building on Suwebatu Street, Oshodi.

She received N25m in donations but in the heat of solidarity her story attracted, her family disclosed that her father is alive and that her mother died from sickness.

They stated that her leg was crushed by a tyre rim at a tender age while she was playing around the vicinity.

Speaking to Sunday PUNCH during the ceremony, Daniel said she claimed her father was dead because he abandoned her from childhood.

She explained that she changed her name from Ojonuga Blessing Onu to Mary Daniel out of annoyance against her father, adding that she twisted the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death and the amputation of her leg to curry favour from the public.

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Daniel stated, “I am happy for the house and the factory. I decided to settle for water business because it is the source of my success. I have bought the equipment and generator; it remains fixing doors and a vehicle for distributing the water.

“I said my father was dead because he did not take care of me. He said he didn’t want a one-legged person in his family. He disowned me so I decided to change my name from Ojonuga Blessing Onu to Mary Daniel.

“After people donated money to me, his family begged him to reunite with me but he refused. I have forgiven him for what he did to me but I can’t accept him as my father.”

She said her daughter now lives with her and has been enrolled in a school. “I thank Nigerians and everyone for helping me. I am also grateful to the Lagos State Government,” she added.

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