Saturday, January 14, 2017

[VIDEO] Ghana president's press unit apologises over plagiarised inaugural speech

Nana Akufo-Addo takes the oath of office during a ceremony at Independence Square in Accra, January 7, 2017. /REUTERS
Nana Akufo-Addo takes the oath of office during a ceremony at Independence Square in Accra, January 7, 2017. /REUTERS
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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 5th 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.

Editor's note: The story erroneously stated that President Nana Akufo-Addo was sworn in as the country's 54th president. Nana is Ghana's 5th president.

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