Alleged Plagiarism – The Presidency has responded to reports that President Buhari plagiarized US President, Barack Obama’s speech at the launch of “Change Begins With Me” reorientation campaign in Abuja last week.
After the launch of the campaign, a columnist on THISDAY newspaper, Adeola Akinremi, did point out that part of the President’s speech was lifted from Obama’s 2008 victory speech after he was elected the first American black president, which violates plagiarism laws, as the words were passed off as if they were his own.
Reacting to this, the Senior Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Shehu Garba, in a statement says the official responsible for the speech will be sanctioned.
The statement read:
“The Presidency wishes to respond to a story on alleged plagiarism in a Presidential Speech that has been trending for most of today.
“The Presidency observed that the similarities between a paragraph in President Obama’s 2008 Victory Speech and what the President read in paragraph nine of the sixteen-paragraph while inaugurating the “Change begins with me” are too close to be passed as coincidence. There was a mistake by an overzealous administration staff and we regret that this has happened.
“A Deputy Director in the Presidency has accepted responsibility for the insertion of the contentious paragraphs even when a query to him was being typed. This serious oversight will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate punishment meted.
“The Presidency, once again regrets this unfortunate incident. Measures have been put in place to ensure that this does not happen again.”
Mr. Shehu, however, urged Nigerians to look beyond this incident and focus on the message of change which the country needed in order to restore the nation’s cherished value systems.