Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has apologized for stealing several lines from US President Barack Obama's 2008 election victory speech in Chicago, a spokesman said Saturday.
Those responsible will be held accountable, the spokesman said, with Buhari asking the Nigerian population to overlook the September 8 "incident" and instead concentrate on the message of his speech.
"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," Buhari said during this month's speech, launching his "Change begins with me" campaign against corruption and in favour of a more progressive Nigeria.
The words were nearly identical to those used during Obama's 2008 speech after winning the US presidential election: "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," Obama said, according to a CNN transcript.
Buhari drew derision from columnist Adeola Akrinremi, who chided him for starting an anti-corruption campaign by being dishonest.
VIDEO: Buhari's speech