From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that those responsible for a wrongful insertion in his speech delivered on September 8, 2016 at the launch of the “Change Begins with Me’’ campaign, be sanctioned.
According to the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, paragraph nine of the 16 paragraph address Buhari read was similar to a paragraph in President Barrack Obama’s 2008 Victory Speech, noting that it was not a mere coincidence.
The paragraph read: “Rather than sit back and complain endlessly, we have decided to act pragmatically, with the launch of this National Re-orientation Campaign. The campaign will not be a sprint but a marathon that will run the course of our tenure. We are under no illusion that the changes we seek will happen overnight, but we have no doubt that the campaign will help restore our value system and rekindle our nationalistic fervor”.
Shehu who blamed it on an overzealous staff, said though a deputy director in the presidency had taken responsibility for the mishap, added that the incident was being investigated and those found culpable will be appropriately sanctioned.
Shehu said, “It was observed that the similarities between a paragraph in President Obama’s 2008 Victory Speech and what President Buhari read in paragraph nine of the 16-paragraph address while inaugurating the Campaign on Thursday, September 8, 2016 are too close to be passed as coincidence.
“There was a mistake by an overzealous staff and we regret that this has happened.
“Already, a Deputy Director in the Presidency has accepted responsibility for the insertion of the contentious paragraph.
“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 which the country needs in order to restore our cherished value systems”.