There have been allegations on social media that the logo of President Buhari’s Next level campaign was copied from Winthrop University’s Rex Institute in the United States.

Buhari launched the Next Level document which contains his administration’s projections for the next four years on Sunday, November 18, 2018.


Rex Institute’s Next Level program

A quick look at the Rex Institute’s website shows something that resembles that Next Level’s logo that was used in the campaign document.

The Institute’s website states that “The Rex Institute is a service-oriented organization within Winthrop’s Richard W. Riley College of Education that serves, facilitates, and supports faculty and College of Education initiatives that involve internal and external collaboration, partnership, and outreach.”


It also states that the purpose of its Next Level program is to:

(1) Shepherd the Agenda for Education in a Democracy.

(2) Build and maintain the Winthrop University-School Partnership Network.

(3) Foster collaborative inquiry and teaching.

(4) Promote ongoing professional learning for faculty and community partners.

Reno Omokri raises alarm

Reno Omokri, the former new media aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan had earlier raised an alarm that the Next Level logo was copied from Dr. Kelly M. Costner, an Associate Professor and NExT LEVEL’s Project Coordinator.

Omokri made the allegation on Twitter on Monday, November 19, 2018.

He said “@MBuhari spent ₦83 million promoting his #NextLevel agenda on the front pages of ALL Nigeria’s major newspapers, but forgot to tell those papers that he stole the Next Level from Associate Professor Kelly Costner. I urge all #LazyNigerianYouths to retweet.”


Change Begins With Me incident

In 2016, Buhari was also accused of copying part of former US President Barack Obama’s speech when he won the elections in 2018.

The Change Begins With Me campaign was launched on September 8, 2016, and Pulse took time to highlight the part that was reportedly copied.

“A new spirit of  service, of sacrifice, of patriotism, of responsibility” –  Obama.

“A new spirit of responsibility, of service, of patriotism and sacrifice”Buhari

“Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long”Obama.

“Let us all resolve to pitch in and work hard and look after, not only ourselves, but one another. We must resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our country for so long”Buhari.

Blame the Deputy Director

Reacting to the allegation of plagiarism, the President’s media aide, Garba Shehu said the mistake was made by an overzealous staff.

He admitted that paragraph nine in the speech was similar to Obama’s 2008 victory speech.

Shehu also said “President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that prompt and appropriate disciplinary action be taken against those responsible for a wrongful insertion in his speech delivered on September 8, 2016 at the launch of the ‘Change Begins with Me campaign.”



Meanwhile, Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, while speaking on Arise TV on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, said that the Next Level campaign is all about consolidating on the achievements of Buhari’s administration.

He said “The Next Level is about deepening what is happening in the country. It’s about consolidating on what has been done and what is been done; its about making progress and advancing on what we are doing now. That is the sum total of it.


Buhari speaking at the Next Level campaign launch (Twitter/MBuhari)


“A lot of Nigerians believe in what this administration is doing, they have faith, they have confidence, they have hope that the administration will take Nigerians to the place it deserves to be.

“The work in progress will continue and if you look at the documents that were released, you’ll see additional focal areas.

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 “So in the next dispensation and by the goodwill of Nigerians who will re-elect the current administration, these three focal areas (security, economy and infrastructure) will continue to receive attention and there will be additional ones as you’ve seen in the documents.”

As at the time of filing this report, the President’s new media aide, Bashir Ahmad, some representatives of the Buhari New Media Centre and Dr. Kelly M. Costner are yet to respond to our e-mail.


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