Just like it happened to President Muhammadu Buhari,the speechwriter of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s inaugural speech, Eugene Arhin, has apologised for plagiarising a portion of former US president George W. Bush’s 2001-inaugural speech.
Sentences of Mr Bush’s January 20, 2001 speech were lifted verbatim into the hailed inaugural speech of President Akufo-Addo, which was delivered Saturday morning at his investiture without the necessary acknowledgement.
President Akufo-Addo’s speech read in part:
“I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building your communities and our nation.”
It continued in another part: “We will reduce taxes to recover the momentum of our economy…”
Bush’s original speech delivered on January 20, 2001 read in part:
“…I ask you to be citizens: Citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building communities of service and a nation of character.”
It continued: “…And we will reduce taxes to recover the momentum of our economy and reward the effort and enterprise of working Americans.”
However, few hours after President Akufo-Addo delivered his speech, social media was awashed with the apparent plagiarism in the speech, triggering criticisms of what would have otherwise been an inspiring speech that set the tone for Akfuo-Addo’s change agenda.
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.