Monday, 9 January 2017

[GHANA]Blame Akufo-Addo over plagiarized speech - Koku Anyidoho

A Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho has asked those calling for the head of the Director of Communication at the presidency over the president’s plagiarized speech, to blame Nana Akufo-Addo and not Eugene Arhin.

Some individuals and organizations have called for the dismissal of Eugene Arhin who has since apologized and indicated that the failure to credit the quotes was not deliberate but an oversight.

The story has also gained popularity internationally as Aljazeera, and some other international tabloids have published the story with the caption ‘Nana Akufo-Addo caught in plagiarism roar’.

Some of the lines the newly sworn-in president plagiarized included: ‘’I ask you to be citizens, citizens, not spectators, Citizens, not subjects.

Responsible citizens, building communities of serving a nation of character.’’

The lines which were plagiarized have been linked to a speech delivered by George W. Bush, a former President of the United States of America (USA) on January 20, 2001.

Commenting on the issue, Koku Anyidoho who was a former Director of Communication under the late Mills described the call on Nana Addo to sack Arhin as needless.

He indicated that Nana Addo failed to scrutinize the speech before delivering it on the inauguration day.

He said, ''it will be possible that Eugene Arhin did not write the speech. I don’t know what is currently ongoing at the presidency because it is the president who will decide the scope of work for the Communication Director.'' He used himself as an example explaining that, the former president Mills after a speech has been presented to him goes through it page by page before the day for delivery and so the president has the responsibility of scrutinizing his speech before reading it, he stressed.

He added, "and so if somebody wants to go and blame Eugene Arhin today for the plagiarized speech, it is a waste of time and so leave the young man alone. The real burden and responsibility lies with the president himself. Was he not conversant with the speech days before? Or he just woke and was given the speech to go and read?"

According to Koku Anyidoho, ‘’sometimes there is a collective blame but this one, the ultimate blame lies with the president. Some will argue that Eugene Arhin has apologized. What kind of apology was that? If there is anybody who must apologize then it must be the president himself because what we are looking at is a grievous thing. It is an intellectual dishonesty, academic fraud; lets’ not joke with it.’’

In his view, the apology from Eugene Arhin carries no weight as compared to the one that Nana Addo himself will offer.

He even gave an example of how the late Mills held a press conference to apologize to the Chief Justice after he failed to recognize her presence while delivering a state of the nation’s address.

‘’This issue is not about the NPP but about Ghana and so the advice I will give as a nationalist is for Nana Addo to come out and apologize. This is a candid advice from someone who once worked at the presidency as a communication director.

The story is now trending globally. Aljazeera, the Wall Street Journal and other international tabloids have all published the story…The ultimate responsibility lies with him [Nana Addo]. You cannot go about blaming anyone over mistakes like this one and so he must apologize.’’


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