A deputy director in the Nigerian presidency is in trouble over a portion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech said to have been lifted from a 2008 speech by US President Barack Obama.
While apologising, President Buhari has ordered prompt and appropriate disciplinary action be taken against the director and those responsible for the wrongful insertion in his speech delivered on September 8, 2016 at the launch of the “Change Begins with Me’’ campaign.
The wrongful insertion read: “We must resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our country for so long. 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”.
Garba Shehu, Senior special assistant on media to President Buhari, said the similarities between a paragraph in President Obama’s 2008 Victory Speech and what President Buhari read while inaugurating the Campaign on Thursday, September 8, 2016 are too close to be passed as coincidence.
“There was a mistake by an overzealous staff 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 out.
“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.”