Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The Presidency has admitted that a sentence lifted from United States’ President, Barack Obama was contained in the speech read by President Muhammadu Buhari on September 8, the day he launched the ‘Change Begins With Me’ campaign.
A statement issued yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu said President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that prompt and appropriate disciplinary action be taken against those responsible for the wrongful insertion of the sentence.
Shehu said it was observed that the similarities between a paragraph in President Obama’s 2008 Victory Speech and what Buhari read in paragraph nine of the sixteen-paragraph address while inaugurating the Campaign on Thursday, September 8, 2016 were too close to be passed as coincidence.
The statement said: “There was a mistake by an overzealous staff and we regret that this has happened.
“Already, a Deputy Director in the Presidency has accepted responsibility for the insertion of the contentious paragraph.
“This serious oversight will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate sanction meted.
“The presidency wishes to state in the clearest possible terms that it regrets this unfortunate incident and will ensure that this does not happen again.
“Buhari urges Nigerians to look beyond this incident and focus on the message of change which the country needs in order to restore our cherished value systems.”
Obama had on November 4, 2008, in his victory speech said: “Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that have 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.
“Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.