Ghana’s new president delivered a passionate, poised and totally plagiarized inaugural address Saturday.
Nana Akufo-Addo stole lines from two former U.S. presidents’ own inauguration speeches — Bill Clinton’s 1993 address and George W. Bush’s 2001 one — when he was sworn in as the African nation’s fifth elected president.
"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,” Akufo-Addo declared during the ceremony in Accra.
But Clinton delivered a nearly identical line more than two decades ago.
“Though our challenges are fearsome, so are our strengths. And Americans have ever been a restless, questing, hopeful people. We must bring to our task today the vision and will of those who came before us,” the American Democrat said at his first swearing-in ceremony.
Akufo-Addo did not play partisan politics when plagiarizing his address. Moments later, he stole a line from the Republican American president.
"I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building your communities and our nation,” Akufo-Addo said.
At his first inauguration, Bush declared: "I ask you to be citizens: Citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building communities of service and a nation of character."
The 72-year-old Akufo-Addo was declared winner of the Dec. 7 election after defeating incumbent John Dramani Mahama. This heavily plagiarized speech quickly went viral on social media, but the new president refused to comment on the accusations.
The copied speech is an embarrassment for a country that long has been praised as one of Africa's strongest democracies.