In a bit of déjà vu, Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo faced heat on Saturday amid accusations that he plagiarized two U.S. presidential inaugural speeches, one from President George W. Bush and one from President Bill Clinton, USA Today reports.
Akufo, elected in 2016, used his 25-minute inaugural speech to kick off 2017. “I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building your communities and our nation,” he said, writes the news outlet.
Then later followed with: “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,” the report says.
USA Today writes:
“It quickly became apparent that the first passage was from George W. Bush’s inaugural, circa 2001. The latter, swapping in Ghanians and dropping Americans, comes to us from Clinton’s inaugural pitch of 1993.”
After the dust settled on “Melaniagate,” where Melania Trump lifted several phrases from a previous address by First Lady Michelle Obama at the RNC in July, Akufo-Addo’s flub was quickly pointed out on social media across the world.
Akufo-Addo’s spokesman Eugene Arhin issued an apology after the firestorm, but by then nothing could cool the burning embers.
“I unreservedly apologize for the non-acknowledgement of this quote to the original author. It was a complete oversight, and never deliberate,” Arhin said. “It is insightful to note that in the same speech were quotes from (former Ghanian leaders) J.B Danquah, Dr. K.A. Busia, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the Bible which were all duly attributed and acknowledged.”
One thing’s for sure, this wasn’t the first time a political leader made the mistake and probably won’t be the last.
SOURCE: USA Today