“Buck passing, or passing the buck, is the act of attributing to another person or group one’s own responsibility.” – Wikipedia
As news reports of President Buhari’s declaration of “change begins with me” contains multiple sentences from President Obama’s victory speech in 2008 continue to reverberate in Nigeria and beyond, there are reports that the Nigerian president has ordered “prompt and appropriate disciplinary action be taken against those responsible for a wrongful insertion in his speech”.
No, Mr. President, punishing “the culprit” alone does not show how seriously the crime is perceived. None of Lai Mohammed, the Information Minister (Olóri Akéde), Garba Sheu and others who people the communication arm of the Nigerian government would have the crime of plagiarism against their names, guilty and culpable as they may be. Either he likes it or not, it’s forever going to be a charge of plagiarism against Nigeria’s President Buhari for issuing a let’s-go-guys soaring charge to his country’s citizens with chunk lifting of America’s President Obama’s words after his historic victory in 2008.
It is very clear that the Nigerian president is either not taking the import of the crime seriously OR he does not consider the level to which it denigrates him, with further diminishing and bringing the country he rules to ridicule as well as embarrassing his country’s citizens.
President Buhari, you owe apologies: first to President Obama and also to Nigerians on this shameful happening. It is after then that “punishing” the so-called culprits could take place.
It is accepting responsibility which would mean you accept the adoption, as Harry S. Truman as President of the USA who had a sign made to display the saying in the Oval Office did, the right way for leadership, the right way to go when mistakes are made.
Whatever anyone writes is yours to vet or have someone who has the time … do the vetting. My own feeling is that since we are not all gifted with soaring language, one should ALWAYS first put down what one feels from the heart. Fleshing out in readable language is speechwriters’ domain even though they can always clothe such with what makes English Language, Yoruba, or any other language beautiful: figurative expressions and the like.
In the end, whatever a president reads is his – great, good, bad or simply awful – as in plagiarism, bad-timing, insensitive words …
One of my blog visitors had this to say yesterday as comments on the “Change …” fiasco:
EVEN HIS “I BELONG TO NOBODY, I BELONG TO EVERYBODY” IN HIS INAUGURATION SPEECH WAS PLAGIARISED!!!
Not wanting to post a comment I would not be able to stand behind, I checked it and she’s right and my response to her comments on the earlier subject had the following postscript:
PS. You are very correct as regards the impressive usage of “I BELONG …”, considering the Nigerian circumstances. Checked it a while ago even though I did not doubt you but just to educate myself:
1. What belongs to everybody belongs to nobody”, a Spanish proverb is close,
2. But Eric’s Burdon & War’s OUT OF NOWHERE lyrics, Stanza 5 is right on the money:
Who is the clown?
Who is the fool?
Which one knows he is playing
and which one is last in the game?
I can hear the voice, why can’t they?
I am glad I wasn’t born into your world.
It would be sad to be born into a world
that does not believe in love anymore.
I am not wrong!
They say they understand me
But I can’t stand to be understood.
I like for people to like me
But they can never understand why I don’t belong to anyone.
Who am I?
I am all of you.
I belong to everyone, because I belong to no one.
In my world there is no time.
Time is being born and dying.
Beyond time is living without being afraid
Without trying to catch something
Or run away from something.
You can’t get away from it all.
You have to be alone before you can find other people.
You can’t hold onto life
You can only touch it.
How old is forever?
When is too old to hope?
You’re tired and I’m not.
You live against time
And I have time to live.
In my world, nothing has always been
So nothing will always be.
In my world we can still believe in hope.
If you believe in forever
You build a wall around the now.
What is, is always changing
If it isn’t, then we are dying.
I live in an ocean of time
Where the past is lost in the future.
There is time for everything
There is time to love, to hope, to change.
(Nobody knows me now)
Until President Buhari does that, ALL NIGERIANS, AMONG WHOM HE IS THE NUMBER ONE CITIZEN RIGHT NOW, STAND FURTHER ACCUSED.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2016. 11:05 a.m. [GMT]