Against public outrage over a charge that President Muhammadu Buhari plagiarised his ‘Change Begins With Me’ campaign speech, The UNION understands that action will be taken against the speech writer.
Nigerians have been outraged that some paragraphs in their president’s speech at the ‘Change Begins With Me’ campaign launch, was not original but copied from a speech delievered by President Barack Obama.
Responding to the rising discontent over the development, the Presidency, late Friday, said the speech writer responsible for the embarrassment, would be sanctioned.
A statement signed by one of the President’s aides on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, put blame for the plagiarism on an “overzealous staff” adding that the embarrassment was “regretted”.
Shehu also stated that “a deputy director in the presidency has accepted responsibility” for the embarrassment.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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”, the statement reads.