Retired diplomat, Dr. K.B. Asante, has stated he was not surprised portions of the inaugural speech delivered by President Nana Akufo-Addo during his investiture Saturday were plagiarized.
“I wasn’t surprised. It happened recently in America and elsewhere—you see some of these sayings are such that…they are so good you are tempted to use them,” he said in an interview with Kasapa on Monday.
StarrFM research revealed Saturday that parts of the Akufo-Addo’s speech were lifted from the inaugural address delivered by former US presidents, Bill Clinton and George Bush in 1993 and 2001 respectively.
Also, portions of the Ghanaian president’s speech were lifted from Muhamadu Buhari, the president of Nigeria.
The speech by Mr. Bush read: “I ask you to be citizens: Citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building communities of service and a nation of character”.
Whilst the one delivered by Akufo-Addo to Ghanaians also read: “I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building your communities and our nation.”
According to Dr. Asante, Akufo-Addo’s speech writers should have known better and duly acknowledge the sources.
“The speech writers should know all these things and try and not to lift them wholesale without any acknowledgments…in a way which does not show that we just steal phrases from here and there and try to make a good speech,” said Dr. Asante.
The imitation of the speech delivered by the former US republican president has sparked a massive social media storm with many calling on Nana Addo’s speech writer to resign his post or be fired by the President.
The Communications director at the Presidency Eugene Arhin attributed the flop to an “oversight” and apologized.
He wrote on Facebook: “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.
“I unreservedly apologise for the non-acknowledgement of this quote to the original author. It was a complete oversight, and never deliberate. It is insightful to note that in the same speech were quotes from J.B Danquah, Dr. K.A. Busia, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the Bible which were all duly attributed and acknowledged”.