AFAG defends Akufo-Addo over plagiarism scandal



Davids Opoku is Director of Operations at AFAG


PRESSURE GROUP, Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) has defended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s plagiarism controversy speech, stressing that the speech did not bring any shame to Ghana.

According to AFAG ts research showed that the first President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Dr. J. B. Danquah, first used the National Democratic Congress’ popular “Better Ghana” phrase in various speeches in the liberation struggles, asking why is it that that NDC was not accused of plagiarism for using “Better Ghana” phrase.

At a press conference in Accra yesterday which was addressed by the Director of Operations, Mr. Davis Opoku Ansah, the group explained that political speeches are not academic papers.

“The nation must move on. Presidential speeches are not academic papers. Political speeches have their conventions, ethos and environment, which cannot be situated in the arena of dissertation.

“…they are speeches. The essence of which is to convey a vision; call to do duty and summon the energies of the listeners to a common cause. The President just did that and AFAG welcomes his call to duty to rebuild Ghana from the greatest harm the NDC has done to our economy and country,” AFAG stressed.

According to the group, the NDC out of government is looking to raise tempest out of dust from the President’s inaugural address, and described the opposition party’s reaction to the President’s speech as “much ado about nothing.”

In their classic modus oparandi, AFAG noted that the NDC is seeking to distract Ghanaians from the battered economy they left behind and the wisdom President Akufo-Addo shared.

According to the group, the leaders have sought not to reinvent the wheel but to rather tap into the wisdom of their colleagues and other sources.

It stressed that what President Akufo-Addo did was to reconstitute ideas from some of the brightest political minds, which are still relevant to the times, and reflects on his vision.

“Can anyone say that the quotes the President leaned on are not relevant to the Ghanaian situation? Should we not come together to build a better nation? AFAG asked rhetorically.

“Isn’t it surprising the NDC is suddenly expert on speeches when Presidents Mahama, Rawlings and late Atta Mills have all borrowed ideas from each other and other sources?

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is insightful to note that Presidents have usually provided the ideas for their speeches, leaving the speechwriters to provide the flesh.

Furthermore, by convention speechwriters borrowing ideas and phrases, in some cases whole paragraphs is not new. It is a standard industry practice,” it noted.

Throughout political speeches, AFAG pointed out that politicians have borrowed wisdom from one another and from history and convention, have the liberty to footnote, acknowledge the original ideas or avoid the two altogether.

This practice, according to AFAG does not negate their vision or the message they seek to share, asking “is it wrong to borrow wisdom from genuine sources as in this case?



Story by Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu

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