Ghana's new president, Nana Akufo-Addo, has begun his tenure on quite an embarrassing note after being fingered in plagiarising his inaugural speech.
The president who gave the speech on Saturday, January 7, 2017, appears to have picked quotes from the inaugural speeches of former US presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush in 1993 and 2001, respectively without giving intellectual credit.
Akufo-Addo, 72, was sworn in alongside his Vice-President, Mahamudu Bawumia, at the Independence Square in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.
The Ghanaian president first lifted a portion of Bush’s January 20, 2001 speech where he said: “I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building communities of service and a nation of character.”
Similarly, he also used quotes from Clinton’s speech delivered on January, 20, 1993, where he 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.”
The similarity of the two speeches was brought to the attention of the public by an NDC activist, Stephen Kwabena Attuah on Facebook after the president’s inaugural address.
Meanwhile, the Director Of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin has apologized for what he calls a complete oversight in the inaugural speech of President Akuffo-Addo.
He said: "My attention has been drawn to references being made to a statement in the speech delivered by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at his swearing in on Saturday, January 7, 2017, which was not duly acknowledged.
I unreservedly apologise for the non-acknowledgement of this quote to the original author. It was a complete oversight, and never deliberate. It is insightful to note that in the same speech were quotes from J.B Danquah, Dr. K.A. Busia, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the Bible which were all duly attributed and acknowledged."
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari about five months ago apologised for plagiarizing President Barack Obama’s 2008 inaugural speech.
Buhari had been accused of plagiarism following similarities between his speech and President Barrack Obama of United States speech. He blamed it on a media aide, saying he will be punished.