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President Buhari’s “Change Begins With Me” Speech of 2016 Bears Striking Resemblance with Barack Obama’s Victory Speech of 2008



President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

A columnist with THISDAY Newspapers, Adeola Akinremi has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of Plagiarising U.S President, Barack Obama‘s speech after he won the November 2008 Presidential Election.

President Buhari gave the speech at the launch of a campaign by the Federal Government, tagged “Change Begins With Me”.

The campaign was launched “in a bid to entrench the values of accountability, integrity and inculcate positive attitudinal change in Nigerians”.

Three sentences from president Buhari’s 2016 speech matched word for word with Obama’s 2008 speech. The first and second sentences were interchanged and some words and phrases were replaced.

According to Akinremi:

So you didn’t notice that our president lifted from Obama’s 2008 victory speech and passed it off as if the words were his own?

The argument will rage, but the moral problem of plagiarism on a day Mr. President launched a campaign to demand honesty and integrity from the people is what we should concern ourselves with.

The very last thing you should do when you’re launching a campaign like this is to be dishonest with the people.

As Buhari talked down on Nigerians during the launch of the campaign spearheaded by no other person, other than the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, known for his trash-talk, particularly for the opposition, I started following the speech line-by-line.

I was alarmed to make the discovery. It was a scandal that escaped the attention of our newspapers. It is one of two things: either people don’t pay particular attention to Buhari’s words or we are a nation of anything goes.

See President Buhari’s speech below:

We must resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our country for so long.

Let us summon a new spirit of responsibility, spirit of service, of patriotism and sacrifice. Let us all resolve to pitch in and work hard and look after, not only ourselves but one another.

What the current problem has taught us is that we cannot have a thriving army of rent seekers and vested interests, while the majority suffers.

See Barack Obama’s speech below:

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Read President Buhari’s full speech HERE.

Read Obama’s full speech HERE.


  1. Busarni

    September 16, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Sai Baba Sai Chanjiii…nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to bubu.

  2. Olori

    September 16, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    He just borrowed it ? lol Mr Akinremi should take a chill pill. Who cares.

    • Seyi

      September 16, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      We do!

    • Nv

      September 16, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      So when does he plan to return it? Oh the irony…

    • Naijatalk

      September 16, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      Shameful comment. We care, integrity for goodness sake

  3. De Duchess

    September 16, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    We are a country where anything goes.

    People will still defend this.

    The average Nigerian at this point does not even care what the old man is saying. Things just have to be better.

  4. nne mummy

    September 16, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    The goofs frm this present government makes me appreciate GEJ’s government. They were not perfect but some goofs frm this government hen, e get k-leg.

  5. Adetutu ilori

    September 16, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Lol wow it really must be a slow news day Bellanaija. Have you guys even read the Nigerian Constitution. The preamble is an exact replica of the constitution of the United States. Please you guys should focus on more important things that would help Nigerians feel encourage to find different economic opportunities or in fact do some investigative journalism as why it is so difficult for small businesses to survive or why there is so much bureaucracy in starting a business. instead of finding who copy who.

    • Naijatalk

      September 17, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      And you don’t see the lack of creativity and fraud in the fact that parts of our own constitution was plagiarized? I can’t with some of you.

  6. Chidi

    September 16, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    ?????? what do you expect when you have a president without a WAEC certificate running your county. How do you expect to obtain original ideals. We shoot ourselves in the leg by electing this fool

  7. Art

    September 16, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Kudos Akinremi for a job well done, this proves that your Journalism certificate is not “Oluwole” like many a journalists in this jungle called Nigeria. But don’t be surprised when you’re labelled a hater and kwarruption supporter by the praise and worship singers of this government. To say that this administration is the true definition mediocrity personified is an understatement.

  8. Nv

    September 16, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    True, I appreciate Adeola Akinremi’s efforts to bring this issue to light, even if it may appear trivial to some. I mean, we go eva rest at all? First it was the legendry Dame Patience Mama Peace and her immortal words, now this. Kai Bubu, try dey check at least na!

    But the one that baffles me the most is that Minister Of Iinformation. Just… no words.

  9. anonymus

    September 17, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    when you have an illiterate as a leader, u shld expect worse.

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