Across Nigeria Corruption Matters

Of stealing, corruption and plagiarism

When I heard last week that part of the speech of President Muhammadu Buhari for the launch of the “Change Begins with Me” campaign was plagiarised from President Barack Obama’s 2008 speech, I wished that it would be proved to be false. While that allegation was still flying around, it was revealed that the punch line of his 2015 inauguration speech (“I belong to nobody; I belong to everyone”) was also copied from Charles de Gaulle of France.
Soon after that, the Presidency confirmed that the story was true. It was a heavy blow to the image of President Buhari in particular and Nigeria in general, because plagiarism is seen as stealing and fraudulence. Plagiarism is derived from the Latin word “plagiarius,” which means “kidnapper.”
In his speech, 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. Let us summon a new spirit of responsibility, spirit of service, of patriotism and sacrifice. Let us all resolve to pitch in and work hard and look after, not only ourselves but one another. What the current problem has taught us is that we cannot have a thriving army of rent seekers and vested interests, while the majority suffers.”


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