The Presidency has announced that it will install plagiarism detection software in the computers of its speechwriters to prevent a recurrence of plagiarism in presidential speeches.
An unfortunate incident occurred whereby it was noticed that a paragraph was lifted verbatim from US President Barack Obama’s 2008 victory speech in the Nigerian President’s “Change begins with me” speech earlier this month.
The presidency had apologized for the incident – which it blamed on an overzealous aide – and said it wouldn’t happen again.
Sources said officials in the presidency have now resolved to take a range of measures to guard against any further embarrassment.
“One of the measures will be to install plagiarism detection software to check speeches before they are delivered by the president,” an official involved in the plan said.
He said they all felt embarrassed by the plagiarism case, even though it was essentially the stupidity of one individual who didn’t envisage the gravity of his action.
When contacted over the plan, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, confirmed it. He said the Presidency was determined to ensure that a case of plagiarism would never happen again.
He had earlier issued a statement in which the presidency blamed a deputy director “for the insertion of the contentious paragraph”.
It said: “This serious oversight will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate sanction meted. The Presidency wishes to state in the clearest possible terms that it regrets this unfortunate incident and will ensure that this does not happen again.
President Buhari urges Nigerians to look beyond this incident and focus on the message of change,” the statement added.
Sources told our correspondent that the deputy director responsible for the incident would be removed from the presidency. The case was particularly embarrassing to the presidency, especially as it came at a time US officials scheduled a meeting between President Obama and President Buhari.
The two presidents are expected to meet Tuesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session. President Buhari is already in New York to attend the UN session and conduct several other international engagements.