Ghana’s presidential inauguration on Saturday is still making the news and trending on Monday not for the display of colourful tradition, but for a plagiarized speech and dress choice of the new second lady.
President Nana Akufo-Addo’s inaugural speech was under criticism for two sentences similar to one read by U.S. President George Bush during his inauguration in 2001 and Bill Clinton during his inaugural speech in 1993 respectively.
“I ask you to be citizens, citizens not spectators, citizens not subjects, responsible citizens building your communities and our nation,” the first sentence read.
The second sentence read: “Though our challenges are fearsome, so are our strengths. Ghanaians have ever been a restless, questing, hopeful people and we must bring to our task today the vision and will of those who came before us.”
After an uproar on Sunday, the writer of the speech, Director of Communications for the Presidency, Eugene Arhin apologized on Facebook describing the act as an oversight and not deliberate.
“I unreservedly apologize for the non-acknowledgement of this quote to the original author. It was a complete oversight, and never deliberate. It is insightful to note that in the same speech were quotes from Dr. J.B Danquah, Dr. K.A. Busia, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the Bible which were all duly attributed and acknowledged,” he justified.
Ghana’s traditional media and social media is still buzzing as opposition bodies and concerned Ghanaians are calling for the sack of Eugene Arhin.
— Oral Ofori (oralofori) January 9, 2017
NAkufoAddocongrats again on becoming president of Ghana... So, let's fire your speechwriter over this plagiarism thing2set an example plz!
We are all ranting but how many of us would have our thesis stand a forensic plagiarism audit. Ghana is a copy copy nation. Lol— GHANA BOY (@alpha_alfaGH) January 8, 2017
The presidential staff member was not the only one facing the wrath of trolls as the new second lady Samira Bawumia was under the radar since Saturday for dressing “un-Islamically” and wearing a similar fabric worn by the former First Lady and her spouse.
Samira Bawumia wore a handmade dress tailored with a woven fabric from the northern regions of Ghana. Her offence was to expose her hands and neck which traditional Muslims in Ghana cover with big veils.
She had a lot of backing however by people who believe she was dressed well.
I actually woke up ready to tweet and tweet about the dress code at the Ghana inauguration ceremony. But plagiarism stole the thunder.— Bwa Mwesigire (@bwesigye) January 8, 2017