Nana Akufo-Addo, the recently elected president of Ghana, got caught up this week in his inaugural scandal — which, incidentally, occurred during his inauguration. Akufo-Addo came under fire Sunday after he plagiarized quotes from American ex-presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in his first formal speech to the nation.
If you're just now hearing about the controversy, read on.
Who are we talking about?
Nana Akufo-Addo, 72, is a lawyer and son of Edward Akufo-Addo, who served as president of Ghana in the 1970s. After several unsuccessful bids for the office, Nana Akufo-Addo won his own Ghanaian presidential election this past December against incumbent John Mahama. Akufo-Addo ran as a candidate with the New Patriotic Party and nabbed 53.85 percent of the vote, CNN reported.
What did he plagiarize?
At his swearing-in ceremony Sunday, Akufo-Addo used a quote from a 1993 Clinton speech in which he'd substituted "Americans" for "Ghanaians." "Though our challenges are fearsome, so are our strengths. Ghanaians have been a restless, questing, hopeful people," Akufo-Addo said. "And we must bring to our task today the vision and will of those who came before us."
Then, he used a portion of a 2001 Bush speech without attribution. "I ask you to be citizens. Citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building your communities and our nation," he added, according to the Independent.
What happened next?
The president's communications director, Eugene Arhin, took responsibility for the plagiarized words on Facebook. "I unreservedly apologise for the non-acknowledgement of this quote to the original author. It was a complete oversight, and never deliberate," he wrote, according to Ghana Politics Online.
What was the reaction?
Several critics have spoken out about the plagiarism, including Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the general secretary of the National Democratic Congress. Nketia, who in 2015 wore his wife's coat on a state visit, even declared Akufo-Addo's gaffe worse than his own.
"It’s not petty; it’s a major issue that has brought disgrace to Ghana in the international community," he said, according to GhanaWeb. "If my winter coat issue alone could have been said to have brought international disgrace to the entire country, how much more the case of the president plagiarising the comments of some former U.S. presidents in his inaugural speech?"
People have also compared Akufo-Addo's plagiarism to that of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who last year copied quotes from President Barack Obama.
And, finally, the scandal made Trevor Noah's "The Daily Show."