Ghanian Presidential Press Service has apologised following allegations that the newly-sworn in leader Nana Akufo-Addo’s inauguration speech was plagiarised.
Director of communication Eugene Arhin said the speech was not deliberate and was an oversight.
“My attention has been drawn to references being made to a statement in the speech delivered by the President of the Republic. I unreservedly apologize for the non-acknowledgement of this quote to the original author. It was a complete oversight, and never deliberate,” read an apology note.
Arhin said on Sunday that it was insightful to note that in the same speech were quotes from JB Danquah, Dr KA Busia, Dr Kwame Nkrumah and the Bible which were all duly “attributed and acknowledged.”
As Akufo-Addo was sworn as the 54th president of Ghana on Saturday, he was accused of plagiarising portions of inauguration speeches of two former American presidents.
Nana described Ghana as a country of “gold standard for democracy in Africa” taking over from John Dramani Mahama.
Critics said the president’s inauguration speech was directly lifted from former US presidents Bill Clinton’s 1993 and George Bush’s 2001 inaugural speeches.
Bush had in his speech said, “I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building communities of service and a nation of character.”
The same words Nana used in his inauguration.
Nana further said, “Though our challenges are fearsome, so are our strengths. Americans have ever been a restless, questing, hopeful people. And we must bring to our task today the vision and will of those who came before us.”
These words were quoted by Bill Clinton in his speech at the 1993 inauguration.
In September 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari admitted part of his speech was copied from US President Barack Obama’s 2008 victory speech “Change begins with Me”.
Though Buhari’s aides put the blame on an unnamed “emotional speech writer”, the president acted by firing some of the top leadership in the unit.
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Despite being abundant in human and natural resources, violence and decline in development prevail in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. In this talk, Eugene Abels invites us to stop pointing fingers at governments, unite and reflect on our history and also, to change our thought patterns, attitudes and habits in order to create the community/nation we want.
A deliberate Change Agent and technocrat committed to international best practices who has in three decades traversed the Real, Banking and Public Sectors of the Nigerian Economy, Eugene Irefa Abels was born, bred and schooled in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. He hails from two oil producing Communities, Nembe and Finima and believes that they are a microcosm of the Niger Delta Region.
An exponent of the need to exorcise our Colonial past from the souls of our public servants and elected officials, he believes the art of governance has been reduced to the single person pronoun ‘I’ whereas ‘we the people’ holds no relevance. An…