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Opinions of Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

What is this Hoo-ha about President Akufo Addo's inaugural speech plagiarism?

Yes, it is ethically correct to acknowledge the writings, statements and, or speeches of someone that you are quoting from to support your views, arguments or points you are making. It is only professional or academically correct to cite the source of such a speech or a statement quotation in support of your writing.

Additionally, you are required by courtesy to reference whomever you are quoting from.

However, it is not a prosecutable crime or offence to part-plagiarize someone even if you fail to reference the source. All that the offending person from whom you have plagiarized their work without indicating their names or reference will do is to ask you to apologise or retract whatever you have quoted from them.

They will not arraign you for quoting them without acknowledging them or seeking their permission.

Subsequently, I do not see the sense in the great hue and cry about President Nana Akufo Addo's said plagiarized inaugural speech that has gone viral on the social media with people expressing their destructive criticisms about it.

After all, has his Director of Communications, Eshun Arhin, not come out to profusely apologise for his childish intention and seeming act of unprofessionalism?

Have former US Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush threatened to sue President Nana Akufo Addo or obliged him to apologise or retract his inaugural speech for part-quoting them without their permission or referencing them? If they are not offended at President Nana Akufo Addo’s citation of their speeches without acknowledging them, what the heck are Ghanaians bitterly complaining about?

What is Plagiarize, one may ask? It is “to use another person's ideas or work and pretend that it is your own”. Is it a crime what the Ghanaian President did after he has apologised via his Communications Director, Eugene Arhin? What else do we expect him to do; to go on his knees to remorsefully beg Ghanaians to forgive him for plagiarizing or to resign as the President of Ghana?

The lambasting about his attitude is simply the work of his detractors. However, that will not stop him from implementing his good intentions and policies for the good of Ghanaians.

I know most of my Ghanaian compatriots do claim, or pretend, to know better than even our White contemporaries we always copy from. I detest this awkward attitude of ours.

Is it the first time in history that one has part-plagiarized the speech or writings of others?

Leave His Excellency Nana Akudo Addo, the President of Ghana, alone, to carry out his manifesto promises on which he can better be judged than our stupid infatuation with mocking him for quoting American Presidents without acknowledging them.

Ghana, more importantly, needs to be saved from the rot it has been plunged into by the immediate former President Mahama than to keep buzzing us unnecessarily with this nonsensical issue of plagiarism. Why can't we allow things to die their natural death? Let us stop hyping this baseless issue of President Akufo Addo’s plagiarized speech for it will not put food on our table.

Let us rather rally behind him to deliver on his promises to Ghanaians for our betterment.