Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has apologized for plagiarizing President Barack Obama’s 2008 victory speech and says he will punish those responsible.
The announcement comes as Obama is set to meet Buhari, the leader of Africa’s largest economy and most populous country, next week in New York.
Adeola Akinremi in her Friday column for ThisDay newspaper denounced “the moral problem of plagiarism on a day Mr. President launched a campaign to demand honesty and integrity.”
Several sentences were almost identical to Obama’s in a speech Buhari made on September 8, launching his campaign “Change Begins With Me.”
Buhari said, “We must resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our country for so long.”
Obama said, “Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.”
On Friday, the White House said Obama has scheduled a meeting with Buhari on Tuesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session.
They are expected to talk about continued U.S. support for security and economic changes in Nigeria, as well the government’s efforts to counter the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.
The White House also said that Obama, in his final appearance before the U.N. session, plans to promote trade between the U.S. and Africa on Wednesday, attending a summit with some 200 U.S. and African CEOs and African heads of state.