Nana Akufo-Addo presidency got off to a rocky start Saturday after he was accused of plagiarising portions of inauguration speeches of two former American presidents.
Akufo-Addo was sworn as the 54th president of Ghana, a country described as the “gold standard for democracy in Africa” taking over from John Dramani Mahama. But the new president’s inauguration was blighted by the accusation of directly lifting from Bill Clinton’s 1993 and George Bush’s 2001 presidential inaugural speeches.
In his 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.”
“I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building your communities and our nation. Let us work until the work is done.”
Akufo-Addo also took a portion from Clinton’s January 20, 1993, speech.
“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,” said Clinton in his speech at the time.
Ghana’s president Saturday speech read thus:
“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.”Video and apology after the cut...
Moments later, the Director of Communications, Eugene Arhin who wrote the speech issued a statement on Facebook to admit the apparent plagiarism blaming it on “complete oversight” and “never deliberate”.
“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,” he wrote.
He unreservedly apologised for the non-acknowledgement of the quotes to the original author, former President Bush.
He stated that in the same speech quotes from leading Ghanaians and the Bible.were used and rightly acknowledged.
The video of the speech has gone viral.
Congratulations Ghana, on the inauguration of your new President.