Ghana leader caught caught plagiarising Bush, Clinton speeches

Published by Daily Nation
On 9 January 2017 saa 02:19
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The newly elected Ghanaian president has begun his administration on a rather embarrassing note after being caught plagiarising former American presidents during his inaugural speech on Saturday.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, 72, was sworn in alongside his Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia at the Independence Square in Accra, the Ghanaian capital, promising not to “let the people of Ghana down”.

Vigilant citizens quickly spotted stark similarities in excerpts of his speech and those delivered by two ex-presidents of the United States decades ago.

President Akufo-Addo first lifted a portion of President 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.”

The new Ghanaian president said: “I ask you to be citizens: Citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building communities of service and a nation of character,” without attribution.

Similarly, he also used quotes from President Bill Clinton’s speech delivered on January, 20, 1993: “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.”

President Akufo-Addo then carefully tweaked the speech to read: “Though our challenges are fearsome, so are our strengths. Ghanaians 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.”

A composite video showing how Presidents Bush and Clinton read their respective speeches and how President Akufo-Addo plagiarised it have since gone viral on the internet, marking the latest embarrassment for West African leaders.

President Akufo-Addo’s communications director Eugene Arhin has since apologised for the speech, describing it as “complete oversight and never deliberate”.

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The winner of Ghana’s presidential election Nana Akufo-Addo takes the oath of office during the swearing-in as elected President of the fourth Republic of Ghana, in Independence Square in the capital Accra, on January 7, 2017.

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