By Ebitonye Akpodigha
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that a 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 in Abuja.
It was observed that the similarities between a paragraph in President Obama’s 2008 Victory Speech and what President Buhari read in paragraph nine of the sixteen-paragraph address while inaugurating the Campaign on Thursday, September 8, 2016 are too close to be passed as coincidence.
A statement issued one of the media aides to the President, Mr Garba Shehu, admitted that “there was a mistake by an overzealous staff and we regret that this has happened.”
Mr Shehu said in the statement issued on Friday in Abuja that “already, a Deputy Director in the Presidency has accepted responsibility for the insertion of the contentious paragraph.”
He further said, “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,” Mr Shehu said in the statement.
President Buhari was lambasted for plagiarising Mr Obama’s speech at the event. The issue, Business Post learnt, has brought a huge embarrassment to the Presidency, hence, its decision to issue a statement on Friday to express its regret over the act.
Plagiarism is seen as a serious crime. It is also seen as fraudulent and sometimes treated as a criminal offence.
Plagiarism is the wrongful appropriation and stealing and publication of another author’s language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions and the representation of them as one’s own original work.