Petition to Request the Speaker of Parliament of Ghana To Expunge President Akufo-Addo’s ‘Plagiarized Speech’ From The Records of Parliament
On January 7, 2017 the President - elect of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was sworn into office to take over the management of the country as its President and Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Characteristic of swearing in ceremonies under the Fourth Republican Constitution of Ghana, the "Independence Square" was converted into Chamber of Parliament. This was principally done to meet the constitutional requirement that the President elect and his vice are sworn in at the Chamber of Parliament.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Professor Aaron Mike Ocquaye presided over the sitting, and all parliamentary procedures were fittingly observed with Members of Parliament both from the Majority and Minority side of the House present.
The President elect, after taking the oath of office administered by Her Ladyship Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Woode, delivered what was thought to be one of the inspirational and though-provoking inaugural addresses in Ghana's history.
President Nana Akufo Addo's address was greeted with loads of thumbs up from all and sundry including the President's political adversaries and Ghanaians in the diaspora.
However, few hours after the address, it emerged that parts of the President's address was lifted from inaugural address of two former American Presidents, Mr Bill Clinton and George Walker Bush, and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Gen Muhammadu Buhari.
Communications Director at the Flagstaff House, Mr Eugene Arhin subsequently confirmed that parts of the President's speech was indeed plagiarized after video evidence emerged of same, and accordingly apologized for the faux pas.
Ghana has thus become a subject of monumental international ridicule because of this embarrassing incident. The President himself has remained tight lipped on the issue, and has not so far taken any step to either accept responsibility for the plagiarized speech or penalize his speech writers.
While the general public has been implored to treat the unfortunate incident as genuine oversight that will never reoccur, it is important Parliament, as a place of public record, takes steps to expunge the plagiarized speech from its records.
As stated earlier, the speech was delivered in the Chamber of Parliament, and it was duly captured by the Hansard Department of Parliament. A speech that has brought some much shame to Ghana, and has been confirmed by handlers of the President to have been plagiarized cannot be allowed to remain in the records of an august institution like the Parliament of Ghana.
By way of helping strengthen our public institutions, and our nascent democracy, signatories to this petition unassumingly request that you direct the Hansard Department to expunge the President’s plagiarized speech from its record, and according direct that a "correct" version of the President's inaugural address, devoid of statements lifted from other people’s speeches without acknowledgement be send to parliament to avoid embarrassment to persons who may use it in future.
This petition however is intended to solicit signatures from the general public to petition the Speaker of Parliament, who incidentally is an academician par excellence, and legal luminary, to grant requests in the above statement.
Amos Blessing Amorse - 0244924306
Vitus Avevor - 0245166069
Dzifa Gunu - 0244378516