The new Ghanaian president lifted parts of his inauguration speeches from those by former US presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The office of Nana Akufo-Addo admitted the embarrassing news. As such, they issued an official apology on Sunday.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo Caught Plagiarizing
The inauguration happened last Saturday. And, not long after that, social media users quickly noticed the uncanny similarities of Akufo-Addo’s speech to those by the ex US presidents. See below.
“Though our challenges are fearsome, so are our strengths. Ghanaians have been a restless, questing, hopeful people. And we must bring to our task today the vision and will of those who came before us,” Akufo-Addo said.
Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration speech used the same lines. “Though our challenges are fearsome, so are our strengths. And Americans have ever been a restless, questing, hopeful people. We must bring to our task today the vision and will of those who come before us.” President Nana Akufo-Addo also plagiarized more lines. He said, “I ask you to be citizens. Citizens, not spectators. Citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building your communities and our nation.”
In comparison, George W. Bush said practically the same words in his 2001 inaugural speech. “I ask you to be citizens. Citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects, responsible citizens building communities of service and a nation of character.”
Akufo-Addo’s communication director acknowledged their blatant plagiarism. He also offered an apology via official channels. Eugene Arhin said that they “unreservedly apologize” for the plagiarism of the former US presidents’ lines and not giving due credit to the author. He added that it was a “complete oversight.” Finally, he offered that it was “never deliberate,” Al Jazeera noted. Nana Akufo-Addo, 72-years old, is a former human rights lawyer. He defeated incumbent John Dramani Mahama in the presidential elections held last month.
Other World Leaders Plagiarize Too
Similarly, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari also apologized for plagiarizing lines from US President Barack Obama. Buhari uttered the lines in a speech that promised change in the African country. Then, Buhari urged Nigerians to not fall back “on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our country so long.”
This line, although impressive, comes from Obama’s victory speech in 2008. Buhari’s office said in an official statement that paragraph 9 of 16 of the the president’s address is “too close” to Obama’s words. They conceded that it is not a coincidence.
There are also many other notable plagiarizers in the world stage. For instance, incoming first lady of the US Melania Trump copied Michelle Obama’s words. Trump said “that your word is your bond” and that “you treat people with respect,” the BBC noted.
However, a look at the full transcript shows yet another blatant copying of the words of the woman she is replacing. The fallout of this incident was Melania Trump’s offer to resign for “my mistake.” The offer to resign was rejected.
Also, US President Barack Obama is not safe from plagiarism. In a 2008 speech, he apparently used the words of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. The issue could have been a big blow as this period was in preparation for Obama’s presidential run. Obama said that Patrick suggested that they use the lines. He did, however, admit to not crediting him.
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