Ghana’s new president, Nana Akufo-Addo, has begun his administration on a rather embarrassing note after he was spotted to have plagiarised former American presidents during his inaugural speech on Saturday, January 7, 2017.
The 72-year-old 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”.
While he promised honesty of purpose and reduced taxation, among other things, during the delivery of the speech, some watchful citizens quickly spotted stark similarities in excerpts of his speech and those delivered by two ex-presidents of the United States decades ago.
The two American presidents, Bill Clinton and George Bush, delivered their inaugural speeches in 1993 and 2001, respectively.
It was learnt that Akufo-Addo first lifted a portion of Mr. 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.”
He then 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.
Mr. Akufo-Addo’s communications director, Eugene Arhin, had since apologised for the speech, describing it as “complete oversight and never deliberate.”
“I unreservedly apologise for the non-acknowledgement of this quote to the original author,” Mr. Arhin added.