According to reports, a crippled beggar has asked people to disregard claims that her life has been changed by a philanthropist who met and 'gave her money' on the streets of Lagos earlier.
A young man identified as Adepeju Olukokun, who also owns the Kokun Foundation, was recently seen showing his generosity to a crippled beggar somewhere on the streets of Lagos. The story was well received and splashed all over the internet.
The beggar who Olukokun had reportedly helped, identified as Bosede Adelani, has however refuted claims that he had given her a wheelchair and money to set up a business that would take her off the streets.
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Narrating their chance encounter, 30-year-old Adelani said:
“He sat beside me and asked if I needed a wheelchair and I told him that I already had one. He brought out a bundle of money and it surprised me because nobody had given me that much money before.
But he continued holding the cash asking me questions. When I realised that he seemed to be really interested in what I needed, I then told him that I was setting up a shop to sell soft drinks. Through the money I made from alms, I had bought a freezer. All I needed was the shop. I told him this. When he was leaving, he gave me GHS15 and I thanked him."
According to her, she had contacted Olukokun after her family and friends started asking her about 'the man who had made her rich and put her everywhere on the internet', and he asked her to come to the office of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, if she still wanted to receive help from him. She also said she's afraid of being attacked by area boys who might think she's rich now because of the attention this has brought her. She said:
“When I called back again, I wanted to beg him to pull down the pictures online because I did not want to be used for a publicity stunt. He said I was disturbing him.”
Olukokun said he had tried to help her, but she refused the help because she had no plans of leaving the streets and end her begging. He said:
“She lied that I gave her GHS15. I actually gave her GHS57. I have helped many people. I told her to come to the SARS office so she could write an undertaking that if I helped her, she would leave the street. But she has refused to come.”
Addressing the issue, Olukokun who refused to pull down the pictures from social media, claiming that they were evidences of his NGO work, shared a post on his Instagram page saying:
"The above post refers... it is very true that I met the lady on my way out on one of my meeting, and I asked her what she wanted, she responded that she needed a wheelchair and some capital to start a little business.
This I promised to help her with. Now to the main issue, I told her by virtue of providing her all this she would stop begging and face her business something I asked her to sign an undertaking for. What amazes me most was she declined. Let me quickly draw you attention to a scenario that happened at the ikeja city mall sometime back when I helped an old woman and also told her to desist from coming around and saying I would have her arrested if caught around there again.
Unfortunately I still met same person loitering around the ICM the next day. This is another case of greed and selfishness. Though she is yet to get what she wanted in this instance but we were about providing all this for her but she declined signing an undertaking not to return to begging. At that instant this incident was logged in with the Federal SARS as I predicted something of this magnitude before now.
Do we render help to the needy - YES...Our motto is to make sure food is right for everyone and suffering is eradicated from the streets but obviously we will keep trying. There would be some stumbling blocks like but we shall overcome. Many thanks to you all."
Who do you believe?