President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said the speechwriter responsible for lifting parts of the United States President Barack Obama’s 2008 victory speech will be punished.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement said that the similarities between certain paragraphs in Buhari and Obama’s speeches were too similar to be coincidental.
There was uproar on social media on Friday when it was discovered that speech by
President Muhammadu Buhari at the launch of the ‘Change begins with me was allegedly
plagiarised Obama’s victory speech in 2008.
The statement read in part, “President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that prompt and appropriate disciplinary action be taken against those responsible for a wrongful insertion in his speech delivered on September 8, 2016 at the launch of the ‘Change Begins with Me’ campaign.
Shehu blamed the action on some overzealous workers and apologised on their behalf.
He also said that a deputy director in the presidency had accepted responsibility for the action but added that the oversight would be investigated and the appropriate punishment would be meted out to the official.
He added, “There was a mistake by an overzealous worker and we regret that this has happened. Already, a Deputy Director in the Presidency has accepted responsibility for the insertion of the contentious paragraph.
“This serious oversight will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate sanction meted. The Presidency wishes to state in the clearest possible terms that it regrets this unfortunate incident and will ensure that this does not happen again.
“President Buhari urges 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.”
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