President Buhari, Plagiarism and our appetite for mediocrity


So I heard that in a country of lettered laureates, the President’s speech was plagiarised. Well, sad. Very sad.

Writing, speechwriting specifically, is not easy.

But plagiarising is lazy, very lazy. Sleazy too.

But as difficult as writing is, even for the gifted, the crime of plagiarism is never an option. Not on Facebook, not on Twitter, not in publishing, not on theses, and definitely not in a President’s speech.

I do not know Aso Rock’s speechwriters, but I know the job firsthand, and I admit how “tough” it can be to work as a speechwriter for/with TYPICAL Nigerian politicians. Still, a presidential (or gubernatorial) speechwriter should know also that this relative “toughness” isn’t a cloak for the vice of plagiarism. And that, at that level, it amounts to national and international shame.

Funny enough though, this is not cutting some slack for the speechwriter(s) that did the Obama swoop; nor for the Presidency that employed him, her, or them. I once mentioned that there seems to be an innate inappetence for class in the Presidency considering the many mediocre marks that speckle some of the appointments.

On my Facebook friends list lásán, I can easily count 20 young minds in a sleepy hollow. Fluid young people who readily possess the gift, grace, wit, and emotional intelligence to understand and assess the mood and thoughts of a moment; put it together in the charm of words, and deliver an original masterpiece in the form of a President’s speech. But, as I said, the scouts in this Presidency didn’t “CHANGE”, they probably did the usual: nepotism against competence to make appointments. Alas, plagiarism.

We have age-long reserves of crude oil, fuel gets scarce.
We have amazonian stretch of arable land, food gets expensive.
In Nigeria, we have an inexhaustible bazaar of resources, economy recedes.
We have lettered laureates, presidential speech gets plagiarised.
Babánlá bane.

Damn! These people really did plagiarise a speech for the President of the Nation! Damn! It just sunk in deeper. MEDIOCRE !!! Haha.

Well, the #ChangeBeginsWithMe thing was a kwashiorkor idea in the first place sha, so maybe it isn’t farfetched that the plagiarism-rich President’s speech at its launch came as a mere sign and symptom that has “persisted after 2 days”….people, call Doctor oh!

His dead? Ha!

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  1. @ AbdulFattah Jimoh, my brother, this is Nigeria where anything goes. You don’t punish anybody for anything. A country of certificated illiterates. That is why nothing is working. God bless you brother

  2. Nawao for this present so strange nagative things are happening…!First it was national budget PADDING,Now is SPEECH PLAGIARISING.CHEI!When will Nigeria both FG,States and individuals stop importing things we have in excess/abundance and exporting what we do not have??How many Professors of English language and Literature do we have in this country?Anyway,Mr.Presidential speech writer,now that you’ve learnt in a HARD WAY(assuming you survive this raised sword of dormacle),learn to consult,develop a teachable spirit ok!

  • seriously,pple have pounced on dz matter like it is smthn else,d President doesn’t write dz things,he only reads dem out loud if he likes what he sees.. how is d man supposed to know dt some sentences were part of Obama’s 2008 speech? If not dt sm few pple pointed it out,how many pple know

  • For anybody to improve he or she must admit that he or she has a limit. Now presidency in their normal blame game is blaming unnamed Director for their ” mistake “. Probably presidency may hire 30 SANs this time to correct their ” insertion “.

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