President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All progressives Congress (APC), are under fire on social media for what appears to be the passing off of a foreign logo as theirs.
Buhari launched his 2019 presidential campaign on Sunday, titling it ‘Next Level’ on the argument that “the past few years have put us in good stead to trudge on the Next Level of building an even stronger nation for our people”.
It is not the President’s words that are currently attracting public opprobrium, though, but the ‘Next level’ logo, a striking feature of which is the creative elongation of the ‘x’ in ‘next’ in a manner as to give the pass mark to a candidate.
Less than 24 hours after the unveiling of the logo, it appears internet surfing rather than creativity is the anchor on which the logo rests.
A quick search of ‘Next Level’ will show, among others, a project of the Winthrop University-School Partnership Network in collaboration with Fort Mill School District (York 4), Lancaster County School District, and Rock Hill School District (York 3). It is a Professional Development Program grant funded by the US Department of Education and administered through the Office of English Learner Aquisition (OELA), PR/Award # T365Z160278.
‘Next Level’, in this case, means NETwork for Leading Education that Values English Learners. In recognition of students’ right to a high quality education, Project NExT LEVEL “provides professional learning opportunities for educators from pre-service to in-service to district and higher education faculty aimed at meeting the unique needs of English Learners and their families”.
One look at this logo and its similarity with Buhari’s ‘next Level’ is easy to see. The two pictures have been circulating on social media, and the comments are far from palatable.
It is not the first time Buhari and his handlers have been enmeshed in a plagiarism scandal.
In September 2016, his ‘Change Begins With Me’ speech contained several sentences that were identical to some in Barack Obama’s 2008 victory speech.
For instance, Buhari had said: “We must resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our country for so long.”
Meanwhile, eight years ago, after his victory over Republican John McCain in the race for the White House, Obama had 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.”