The Director of Communications at the presidency, Eugene Arhin, has apologized for portions of President Akufo-Addo’s inaugural speech, which did not acknowledge the sources of some of the quotes he used. Following the swearing-in of the President and his vice today [Saturday], January 7, social media has been awash with some quotes in Nana Addo’s speech, believed to have been lifted from speeches by two former American Presidents.
Some critics have described the act as plagiarism. But in a statement issued by the Director of Communications at the presidency on his Facebook page, Eugene Arhin said it was an oversight and not a deliberate act. According to him, the President in his speech acknowledged every source of a quote he used, and thus this could not have been deliberate.
Mr. Arhin’s post read; “My attention has been drawn to references being made to a statement in the speech delivered by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at his swearing in on Saturday, January 7, 2017, which was not duly acknowledged.” “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.” In his speech that has widely been commended, the newly sworn in President quoted Thomas Woodrow Wilson, an American politician and academic who served as the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921.
In a speech in 1913, Wilson said “We are bound by ideals that teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these ideals. Every citizen must uphold them…. I ask you to be citizens. Citizens, not spectators. Citizens, not subjects. Responsible citizens building communities of service and a nation of character.” The quote was repeated by President George Bush in 2001. Whiles urging Ghanaians to be loyal citizens, President Akufo-Addo said, “I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building your communities and our nation. Let us work until the work is done. Holy Scripture in Galatians 6:9 says “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”