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Ghana's President Ripped Off A Bunch Of US Presidents In His Inaugural Speech

Uh, whoops?

Posted on January 10, 2017, at 12:51 p.m. ET

Nana Akufo-Addo, the fourth president of Ghana, took the oath of office on Sunday in a peaceful transfer of power that should serve as a model for other countries in the region.

Cristina Aldehuela / AFP / Getty Images

But things...didn't exactly go completely smoothly.

Cristina Aldehuela / AFP / Getty Images

As an eagle-eyed reporter pointed out, he kind of sort of definitely lifted passages from a couple of US presidents' inaugural addresses.

#Ghana’s new President @NAkufoAddo caught plagiarizing Bill Clinton & George Bush's inaugural speeches word for wor…

In addition to lifting lines from Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as noted in this video, he also stole a line from John F. Kennedy — “if a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it can’t save the few who are rich.”

The new president's communications director took to Facebook to issue a mea culpa for the "mistake."

Comedy Central

"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,” Eugene Arhin wrote. "I unreservedly apologise 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 J.B Danquah, Dr. K.A. Busia, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the Bible which were all duly attributed and acknowledged.”

It's just the latest multi-presidential plagiarism scandal to hit Africa — last year, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari totally stole some words from US President Barack Obama.

Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

For the last word on the matter, here's former president and victim of plagiarism William Jefferson Clinton for his response to Akufo-Addo's faux pas*.


*JK. This is actually from Clinton's 2012 Democratic National Convention speech.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.