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Buhari and other leaders caught in plagiarism scandal

Buhari and other leaders caught in plagiarism scandal

Leaders speak a lot. They are always giving speeches. But what happens when the words they speak are not originally theirs?

Plagiarism is nothing new, especially in the political arena. When you use another person’s work without acknowledgement, you have plagiarized.

There have been several cases of politicians accused of plagiarizing speeches of other leaders.

Below are prominent politicians around the world who have been caught plagiarism scandal.

1. Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo

Politicians caught in plagiarism scandal

Nana Akufo-Addo was sworn in on Saturday, January 8.

This is the most recent. The new Ghanaian president started his administration on a rather embarrassing note after he was caught plagiarizing the speeches of two former American presidents during his inaugural speech on Saturday, January 8.

He lifted a portion of George W. Bush 2001 inauguration speech which said: “I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building communities of service and a nation of character.”

The Ghanaian president also took quotes from Bill Clinton’s speech delivered on January, 20, 1993.

He said: "Though our challenges are fearsome, so are our strengths. Ghanaians have 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’s communications director, Eugene Arhin, has since apologised for the speech, which according to him was a “complete oversight and never deliberate.”

2. Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari

Politicians caught in plagiarism scandal

Buhari copied Obama in a speech to launch his "change begins with me" campaign

Buhari made a terrible mistake in September 2016 when he plagiarized US President Barack Obama’s 2008 inaugural speech to launch the “change begins with me” campaign.

Buhari had said: "We must resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our country for so long."

Obama’s speech read: "Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.''

Buhari blamed it on an “overzealous” official who was later reportedly relieved of his duties.

3. Incoming US first lady Melania Trump

Politicians caught in plagiarism scandal

Melania copied lines about necessity of hard work nearly verbatim from Michelle's 2008 address

Melania, the wife of the incoming US president, Donald Trump, was caught plagiarizing the speech of Michelle Obama, the outgoing first lady.

Speaking at the Republican national convention, Melania said: "My parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with respect."

Michelle had said in 2008: "And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: That you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them."

Meredith McIver, the writer who worked with Melania on the speech later apologized, saying, "This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania.”

4. US President Barack Obama

Politicians caught in plagiarism scandal

Obama said he erred by not crediting Patrick

Obama has also been accused of plagiarism. He was accused of plagiarizing a 2006 speech by former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

READ ALSO: Plagiarism of Obama’s speech: Buhari sacks deputy director

Giving a speech in 2008 when he was a US senator making a bid for the presidency, Obama said: "Don't tell me words don't matter! 'I have a dream.' Just words. 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' Just words. 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself.' Just words, just speeches."

Reacting to the accusation, Obama said Patrick had suggested "we use these lines", saying his error was not crediting him.

5. UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn

Politicians caught in plagiarism scandal

Heller denied Mr Corbyn was guilty of plagiarism

In 2015, he was caught up in a humiliating plagiarism row after it emerged that large tracts of his speech were lifted word-for-word from a speech written and published online four years ago by a blogger called Richard Heller written in 2011.

Corbyn said: "Since the dawn of history in virtually every human society there are some people who are given a great deal and many more people who are given little or nothing. Some people have property and power, class and capital, status and clout which are denied to the many."

This was similar to Heller’s which read: "Since the dawn of history, in virtually every human society there are some people who are given a great deal and many more people who are given little or nothing. Some people have property and power, class and capital, status and even sanctity, which are denied to the multitude.”

However, Heller defended Corbyn, saying he was not guilty of plagiarism as he had sent quotes to Corbyn's team.

6. US Vice President Joe Biden

Politicians caught in plagiarism scandal

When Biden ran for president in 1988, he was caught plagiarising the speech of British politician Neil Kinnock

In 1987, Biden who was running for president was accused of plagiarising a speech that British Labour Party Neil Kinnock delivered just four months earlier.

Biden said: "Why is it that my wife who is sitting out there in the audience is the first in her family to ever go to college? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright?"

On the other hand, Kinnock's speech had the following lines: "Why is Glenys [Mr Kinnock's wife] the first woman in her family in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Was it because all our predecessors were thick?''

Following the plagiarism scandal, Biden dropped out of the 1988 presidential race.

7. Russian President Vladimir Putin

Politicians caught in plagiarism scandal

Putin was accused of plagiarism

In 2006, Putin was labelled a plagiarist after a pair of researchers at the Brookings Institution accused him of plagiarizing his economics dissertation. He was said to have stolen 16 out of 20 pages from a paper published by the University of Pittsburgh 20 years earlier.

Watch video of Ghana president's plagiarism scandal.

Source: Legit.ng

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