Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari plagiarized quotes from US President Barack Obama in a speech promising change in the West African country, his office said in a statement on Friday.
Last week, Buhari gave a speech to launch a campaign titled “Change begins with me,” part of his credo to end graft in Africa’s biggest economy which is gripped by mismanagement and poverty despite sitting on vast energy reserves.
But one paragraph in the speech urging Nigerians not to fall back, Buhari was said to have copied it from Obama’s victory speech after his election in November 2008.
Buhari said “”We must resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our country for so long.”
In 2008, President Obama said: “Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.”
Again, Buhari said “Let us summon a new spirit of responsibility, spirit of service, of patriotism and sacrifice. Let us all resolve to pitch in and work hard and look after, not only ourselves but one another. What the current problem has taught us is that we cannot have a thriving army of rent seekers and vested interest, while the majority suffers”.
Earlier, Obama said “So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other. Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, its that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers”.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s President’s Office said it was indeed observed that the similarities between a paragraph in President Obama’s 2008 victory speech and what President Buhari read in paragraph nine of the 16-paragraph address… are too close to be passed as coincidence.
“President Buhari urged Nigerians to look beyond this incident and focus on the message of change which the country needs in order to restore our cherished value systems,” the office said after a Twitter user joked about the incident.
“Those responsible” would be punished, the office said, adding that a deputy director in the presidency had admitted the