Ghana's New President Plagiarized Parts Of His Inauguration Speech

Ghana's new president, Nana Akufo-Addo, took some lines from Bill Clinton and George W. Bush without giving them credit.
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Ghana's New President Plagiarized Parts Of His Inauguration Speech

Ghana's presidency changed hands over the weekend in a peaceful ceremony that went off without a hitch — for the most part.

But during his inauguration speech, President Nana Akufo-Addo said some lines that sounded a bit familiar.

Akufo-Addo said in his speech, "I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects."

That's exactly what President George W. Bush said during his 2001 inauguration speech: "I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects."

Akufo-Addo also told the nation, "Ghanaians have ever been a restless, questing, hopeful people." 

That sounds very similar to a line delivered by President Bill Clinton during his 1993 inauguration: "Americans have ever been a restless, questing, hopeful people."

The new president's communications director later apologized for the "complete oversight," saying it was an accident that the borrowed lines were not attributed to their original authors.

Communications Director Eugene Arhin went on to add, "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."

Akufo-Addo is a former human rights lawyer and has run for president twice before. He was elected on his promise to provide free high school education and establish one factory in each of Ghana's districts.

American presidents seem to be a popular inspiration for speechwriters. Several months ago, Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari got caught plagiarizing from President Obama's 2008 victory speech.

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