This is a wild story that set Nigerian Twitter, or X, ablaze this week!
Precious Gaza is a popular sickle cell patient and advocate who has been making waves on social media lately… for all the wrong reasons.
Gaza, 25, was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at a young age. Due to her debilitating health condition and frequent crises, Gaza’s friends decided to start a GoFundMe page in March 2021 to raise $200,000 for a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) procedure for her. The campaign was a success, with her hitting more than half of her goal. The page ended up raising £53,400 and ₦33 million by the time the fundraiser was closed in September of 2021. This is about $112,000.
What has set mouths talking, however, is a recent shocking statement on Twitter by Gaza’s friends who alleged that she has not used the funds for the BMT procedure as promised, but has instead lavished the funds on activities unconnected to her procedure. They also said that she had blocked them on social media and had been ignoring their attempts to contact her.
According to her friends, in 2021 after they closed the fundraiser, they gave the total sum raised to Precious at her request, in order to enable her to begin the process for her life-saving procedure. However, they soon became suspicious of her spending habits. They allege that she used the money for personal expenses such as restaurants, spas, and local flights, and that she lied about being admitted to a rehabilitation center, amongst other things.
The story of Precious Gaza is quite complex, and it’s hard to know what to believe. On the one hand, her friends have accused her of misappropriating funds that were donated to her for the medical procedure. On the other hand, Gaza responded to the allegations in a four-page statement, where she admitted that she had been struggling with drug dependency and mental illnesses, and that she had spent some of the funds on her treatment. She also said that she was still on track to get the BMT procedure, but that it had been delayed due to a waitlist.
Although Gaza denied the allegations, her friends provided evidence to support their claims. They shared screenshots of bank statements that show Gaza spending money on non-medical expenses. They also shared screenshots of Gaza’s social media posts, which show her attending parties and traveling. She threw a lavish pink princess-themed party, and told her friends that her family was sponsoring it, and had told her family that her ex boyfriend, a popular YouTuber, sponsored the party. This was revealed when the friends reached out to her family.
The allegations against Gaza have sparked outrage on social media, with many people calling for her to be held accountable for her actions. Some have even suggested that she should be prosecuted for fraud. Gaza’s friends have said that they are disappointed in her and blindsided by her actions. They say that they trusted her and that they never thought she would do something like this, and that they hope that she will come clean about what happened, as well as actually use the remaining money for her BMT procedure.
It’s possible that Gaza is telling the truth, and that she has simply been overwhelmed by her medical condition and her mental health issues. But it’s also possible that she is lying, and that she has used the almost hundred million naira funds for personal expenses. Honestly, only time will tell what really happened.
Some people have expressed sympathy for Gaza and given her the benefit of the doubt, while others have called for her to be held accountable, seeing that she has lied multiple times, using fake images gotten from Google to support her hospital and rehab visit claims, and even sharing the identity of her supposed doctor who as it was later discovered, passed away in 2022 and held a PhD instead of a medical license.
The case is still ongoing, and it is unclear what will happen next. However, the accusations against Gaza have raised important questions about the transparency and accountability of medical fundraising campaigns. If donors cannot be sure that their money is being used for its intended purpose, they may be less likely to donate in the future. This could have a negative impact on people who truly need financial assistance for medical care.
It is important to find ways to ensure that medical fundraising is transparent and accountable. One way to do this is to require fundraisers to provide detailed financial reports to donors that would allow donors to see exactly how their money is being spent. Another way to improve transparency is to create a central database of medical fundraisers that would enable donors research fundraisers before they donate.
Medical fundraising campaigns are often shrouded in secrecy, with donors often not being given enough information about how their money is being used, and there being no way to track how the funds are spent. This lack of transparency often leads to such problems as in the case of Precious Gaza. For example, her friends were not given any information about how she was using the funds, and the information she did give was found to be false. As a result, they were left to wonder if their money was being used for its intended purpose and decided after their investigation that it wasn’t.
Even when donors are given more information about how their money is being used, there is still no guarantee that the funds will be used for their intended purpose. In some cases, fundraisers have been caught misappropriating funds, and there has been little to no accountability. There should be a system in place to hold fundraisers accountable if they misuse funds. This system should be transparent and fair, and it should provide victims with a way to get their money back.
Most importantly, donors should be more careful about who they donate to. They should do their research before donating to a fundraiser, and they should be wary of any fundraisers that seem too good to be true. Unfortunately, this situation involving the Precious Gaza situation is a reminder that medical fundraising campaigns can be very risky, but it is also a lovely reminder that there are still people who are willing to help those in need.
With more transparency and accountability, medical fundraising can be a force for good. It can help people get the medical care they need, and it can also help to raise awareness about important medical issues. Please do not let one bad egg prevent you from helping others if you have the capacity to. It is always worth it.
It is important to note that these are all still allegations, and that Precious Gaza has not been charged with any wrongdoing yet.
For more information on this story, check out the #BMTFORPRESH tag on Twitter.