Social media has been buzzing with massive reactions from the public, regarding newly elected President Nana Addo’s speech said to have been plagiarized. President Akufo Addo’s inaugural speech was followed with an uproar on social media, as it was discovered that excerpts from the speech, were lifted from speeches by ex American Presidents; Bill Clinton and George W Bush.
Part of Nana Addo’s speech read; “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”.
But it was discovered that ex American President, Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration speech read in part; “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”.
In another instance, Akufo-Addo said: “I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building your communities and our nation.”
In his 2001 inaugural speech, Bush said: “I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building communities of service and a nation of character.”
Don’t Get It Twisted; See Full Text of Nana Addo’s Inaugural Speech Here
Following the social media reactions, Director of Communications, Eugene Arhin who wrote Nana Addo’s speech issued a statement moments later on Facebook, to admit the apparent plagiarism regarding it as a “complete oversight”. Eugene Arhin in his statement apologized for not acknowledging the original sources of the said quotes in his speech, adding that a good number of authors like JB Danquah, Dr. K. A Busia, etc, were duly acknowledged.
The question now is; should Nana Addo’s speech gaffe be forgiven and forgotten? This is still being deliberated on different media platforms. The recurring argument on many platforms revolves around past incidents where world leaders like US President Barack Obama, Nigeria’s President Buhari, Melania Trump and many others, were in one way or the other, found guilty of plagiarism.
Sympathizers of the newly elected President who strongly believe it was an oversight and not deliberate, have based their justifiation of the act on the fact that the aforementioned personalities all got away with the blunder, for one reason or the other.
Nevertheless, there have been calls for sanctions on the speech writers responsible for the hoax. Stakeholders who are of the opinion that a mere apology is not enough, have asked government to sanction the speech writers for denting the President’s reputation.