Melania Trump bore the brunt of many jokes over her plagiarizing of a speech given earlier by First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, for her own speech at the Republican National Convention. The plagiarism police punished her for it in clear terms.
Weeks after the gloves have come off and people have moved on to more current jabs, the plagiarism police have found another victim in the person of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.
The country’s This Day newspaper accused President Muhammadu Buhari of engaging in plagiarism in part of a speech he gave while inaugurating a behaviour change campaign which was dubbed ‘Change Begins With Me’ last Thursday.
According to the plagiarism police, President Buhari had allegedly employed the words used by US President Barack Obama in a speech he made after winning the election in 2008 during his own speech.
The President had enthused at a middle point in his speech;
“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.”
A truly inspiring charge no doubt. Unfortunately, however, back in 2008 at a rally in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, United States, after winning the race for the White House in November, at separate points in his own speech, U.S President Barack Obama had enthused;
“Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long…”
“So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.”
Defending President Buhari From The Plagiarism Police
Of course, we must make the argument that the sentiments that the President of Nigeria hoped to arouse in the ‘Change begins with me’ crowd were so similar with what Obama aimed to do in 2008 that they were both inspired to utter very similar words at different points in their speech. We must also be honest and admit that such an argument probably will not fly.
Considering the campaign in question where the speech was given had the aim of calling forth honesty and integrity from Nigerians, the President could not have chosen a worse time to be accused of plagiarism.
Seriously, we all know that the Obama’s are great orators but could anyone who seeks to borrow their words from here on out just attribute it to them? The plagiarism police do not really like to be put in this awkward position, come to think of it, they probably don’t mind.