#SaveMayowa: Did cancer patient’s family scam Nigerians?
While it has been established that Ahmed Mayowa Shukura is suffering from a terminal stage 4 degree cancer, one of Nigeria’s Nollywood actresses, Toyin Aimaku, and the Founder, Lifestake Foundation, Aramide Kasumu, who helped in raising over $100,000 for her ‘treatment’ have raised the alarm that the #saveMayowa campaign was a scam initiated by the Ahmed family to swindle Nigerians of their hard-earned money.
But the Ahmed family in a swift reaction denied defrauding Nigerians, saying the fundraiser was genuine.
They said having helped in raising the needed funds for Mayowa’s treatment, recent development showed that the family was not interested in pursuing any treatment for her, but used the medium to raise funds for themselves at the expense of the sick 28-year- old lady.
According to Aimaku, who explained that she decided to champion the campaign because she thought it was genuine having seen the cancer patient physically, noted that she used her social media platform as well as put calls to well-meaning Nigerians, including AY, E-money, one of Okorocha’s son, Peter Odili and a host of other persons for assistance.
“But after all the running around and securing the funds they said they needed for her treatment, they told me they would be taking her to Reddington Hospital on the Island, and I was happy about it because I live in Lekki. I knew it would be easier for me to always visit her there, only for me to get to Lagos University Teaching Hospital this morning where they kept her, we were told nobody was allowed to visit her anymore. I was trying to tell them it was a public thing so they can’t say they don’t want to see people, meanwhile the funds came from people, so they need to know what is happening,” Aimaku added.
She said immediately, she had a feeling something wasn’t right. “Then I went upstairs to meet them to lie that the governor’s wife wants to know how much they have spent, that she wants to assist. That is how they started shaking. I then went to see the doctor inside, I gave him the medical report they have been showing everyone,” she said, adding that the doctor told her it was fake and that they knew nothing about that report.
“The doctor said the family told them they would fly her out by 6pm this evening to Dubai, whereas I was told they will take her to Reddington Hospital,” she said.
She said to confirm her doubt, she confronted Mayowa, who told her that everything was a scam perpetrated by the family.
Also, lending her voice, Kasumu said Mayowa actually has stage 4 cancer and according to the doctors was beyond treatment, adding that when her attention was drawn to the issue, she called the Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, who reserved a room for Mayowa in the hospital.
“I facilitated her admission in LUTH and then requested her medical reports with the family. Then a hospital in the United States said it could commence treatment on her but that it would cost them $100,000 each on several occassions. But the family decided to start a campaign for $100,000 without ever thinking of taking her for treatment. The fee for medical reference to the hospital was not paid, hence there was no reference letter to any embassy. There was no visa anywhere for her travel. It was just a scam,” she added.
When the CMD of LUTH was contacted, he said he was aware the patient was brought into the hospital for treatment but was unaware of the issue of the #savemayowa campaign and the associated scan.
Meanwhile, the police have arrested some members of the Ahmed family who are currently being interrogated.
Mayowa’s family had a week ago, initiated the #savemayowa campaign to raise funds for the treatment of ovarian cancer for her. So far, over $100,000 has been raised towards the ‘treatment’.
However, a statement by the Ahmed family said the #savemayowa campaign was genuine, as the funds raised would be used solely for her treatment.
The statement reads: “We have been called by friends, family and everyone who has our contacts that our raising funds for Mayo is a scam. We were also informed that some persons had made statements concerning her state and her ability to pull through this ordeal. As a family, we wish to state that Mayowa is presently in LUTH receiving treatments that will prepare her for her trip to Abu Dhabi. We have also engaged the services of the Flying Doctors to accompany her on the trip based on recommendation by the doctors in LUTH.”
The Ahmed family said Mayowa was receiving treatment in LUTH to pave the way for her to travel abroad for her treatment, as she has been transfused to help improve her PCV.
“The funds are solely for Mayowa’s treatment and for no other reason. We await her visa for travel documents to commence the journey as we are in touch with the doctors abroad and they are awaiting her arrival. We appreciate the contributions made by Nigerians on this journey. Mayowa will live to tell this story and you shall be one of the audiences by His grace.
“Please support us with prayers as you will surely be told the success story as we have not given up on Mayowa living her life and we will never give up until the work God has started is finished. Thank you once again and will provide updates on her treatment and procedures. Meanwhile, the scam allegation has attracted mixed feelings from Nigerians,” the statement read.