CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF SELECTED POLITICAL CAMPAIGN SPEECHES OF GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES IN SOUTH-WESTERN NIGERIA 2007-2014

CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF SELECTED POLITICAL CAMPAIGN SPEECHES OF GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES IN SOUTH-WESTERN NIGERIA 2007-2014

ABSTRACT

 

Previous studies on campaign speeches in Nigeria have tended to be a description and analysis of style, innovative and persuasive strategies of politicians, and manipulation of linguistic structures to champion individual interest in presidential election campaign speeches. There is the need to investigate how texts reproduce and sustain power and unequal power relations in campaign texts and how ideological or political undertone was projected in gubernatorial campaign speeches. The study uses Critical Discourse Analysis to examine the role of language in creating and sustaining power relations as well as ideological structures in South-Western Nigeria. These power relations are created, enacted and legitimated by the application of certain linguistic devices. The researcher attempts to unravel hidden meanings and connotations of power in selected gubernatorial campaign speeches in South-Western zone namely: Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo and Osun states. The data for the study were purposively sampled from gubernatorial campaign speeches made in the four states during the 4th republic precisely 2007 – 2014. A total of eight speeches (two from each gubernatorial candidate of Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo and Osun state) were sampled and analyzed. The study drew from Fairclough‟s (2001) Members‟ Resources (MR), Van Dijk‟s socio-cognitive approach (2004), and principles from Halliday‟s system of mood and modality as theoretical bases. The findings show that the South-Western gubernatorial aspirants deployed language as a strategy of domination and supremacy by exploiting lexical items and strong imperatives which allow them to impose their views on others. They created, by means of their campaign texts, asymmetrical power relations of privileged „we‟ and less privileged „others‟. Another form of dominance or power abuse is mind control which is also a form of manipulation through interference with processes of understanding the formation of biased mental models and social representations. This is mainly achieved through persuasion, coercion, and information- giving strategies. Thus, the candidates employ certain declaratives to neutralize the asymmetrical power relations that exist between them and the electorate when they want to liberalise power. This, usually, had the effect of reducing the authority of the candidate. The aspirants also used discourse structures that have implications for ideology as weapons of persuasion and pleading, positive self-representation of „us‟ and negative other representation of „them‟, negotiation and personality projection. Additionally, the findings also reflect figurative expressions that are implicitly used to project different ideological positions of the aspirants. The figurative expressions predominantly used were metaphor, mainly metaphor of religion, time, journey, sports, violence and animal innovations which were used to project positive ideology of self and negative ideology of the other. There were also instances of linguistic items like idiomatic expressions, parallel structures, hyperbolic expressions and rhetorical devices used to unfold hidden ideological meanings. In the sampled data, there are some linguistic items which need to be drawn from the speakers‟ cognition, and this can be accounted for by Fairclough‟s Members‟ Resources. Based on these findings, the researcher recommends that text producers and consumers should be aware of the hidden ideologies and coercive elements in texts, and this will inspire them on how to use and accept certain discursive practices. Such empowerment is important to enable the people to determine the true interests of the speeches and for them to be more active and less gullible citizens. The study, therefore, concludes that in actual sense, the plethora of texts produced, distributed and consumed in the 2007-2014 gubernatorial electioneering campaigns in the South-Western Nigeria not only promoted asymmetrical power relations, they also produced, reproduced, legitimized and maintained social structures that sustain domination.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1         Background of the Study

Discourse is all around us, whether we are looking at the esoteric language of a scholarly report, the imperative appeals to consumerism in advertising or the exchange of words performed in a dialogue. In all of these instances of discourse, there are certain underlying rules, and each of these is in turn dependent on the social context in which the discourse takes place. A dialogue between a parent and a child is different from a political speech, in terms of ideology, power relations and usage of words. Election campaigns and other types of political discourse are all fields of ideological battles which can be subjected to Critical Discourse Analysis. This is not surprising because, as van Dijk (11) says, it is eminently here that different and opposed groups, powers, struggles and interests are at stake. In order to be able to compete, political groups need to be ideologically conscious and organized. Discourse analysis challenges us to move from seeing language as abstract to seeing our words as having meaning in a particular historical, social and political condition. Our words are politicized, even if we are not aware of it, because they carry the power that reflects the interest of those who speak. Discourses can also be used for an assertion of power and knowledge, and they can be used for resistance and critique. One such occasion where discourse can be used to assert, sustain and legitimize power is campaign speeches.

 

The campaign speeches are important tools politicians use to express views and feelings to the public with the sole intension of re-shaping and re-directing the electorates’ opinions to agree with theirs. The speech highlights, among others, the programmes of successive administrations and offers the speaker as the best candidate that can turn around the fortunes of the people. Politics is a struggle for power in order to put certain political, economic and social ideas into practice. In this process, language plays a crucial role since every political action is prepared, accompanied, influenced and played by language. According to Orwell, All issues are political issues and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia. When the atmosphere is bad, language must suffer” (525-43).

 

Linguists are getting more and more interested in both the linguistic structure of texts and how texts feature in the social process. An understanding of grammar, morphology, semantics and phonology of a text is necessary for the understanding of the text but the rhetoric intent, the coherence and the world view of the author and receptor promote a better appreciation of the text. Language, therefore, is no longer just for reflecting reality, it is central for creating reality. Discourse is a form of language use. It is a practice not just of representing the world, but of signifying the world, constituting and constructing the world in meaning. To Fairclough, a discourse is “a way of signifying a particular domain of social practice from a particular perspective” (14). Discourse Analysis (DA) is the analytical framework which was created for studying actual text and talk in the communicative context while CDA is a type of discourse analytical research that primarily studies the way social power abuse, dominance and inequality are enacted, reproduced and resisted by text and talk in the social and political context. CDA is particularly interested in the detailed interface between structures of discourse and the structures of power. Advocates of this research agenda called Critical Discourse Analysis claim that language is a form of social practice which the context is very crucial in its analysis (Wodak, 7; Wodak and Busch: 108). Scholars in the field believe that the choice of language which interlocutors make reflects their intentions, ideology and thought. This is an effective means for polarizing power in society. Leading scholars in this enterprise include Michael Foucault, Roger Fowler, Ruth Wodak, Teun van Dijk, Norman Fairclough and a host of others. These linguists, sociolinguists, philosophers and discourse analysts who have taken a critical stance in the study of texts claim that previous works on discourse analysis (DA) and conversational analysis (CA) had been more descriptive in terms of the local micro-level linguistic features of cohesion and coherence, topical markers, and semantic principles that connect textual patterns and less „explanatory‟ and „evaluative‟ of the macro socio-cultural dimensions of discursive practices (Fitch and Sanders: 253). These earlier works have failed to answer questions such as: why certain discourses are structured to dominate others, how language is used and abused in the service of the powerful in society, how language can be structured to become a veritable instrument of propaganda, manipulation, marginalization, oppression, offence and defence; a situation which Mey refers to as linguistic repression – a subtle but pernicious form of social control through discursive practices (293). They have failed to explain how discourse buttresses ideological formations of social institutions or how discourse sustain unequal power relations and how even those who suffer as a consequence fail to realize how many things that appear to be natural and normal are not at all so (Wareing: 12).

 

Critical Discourse Analysis specifically wants to know the role of discourse in the production and challenge of power and dominance ; how language is used and abused by the elite class and their discursive strategies for the maintenance of inequality; how language can be an instrument of persuasion and impression, justification, propaganda, oppression and suppression, manipulation and misrepresentation. One of the key factors that determine the political figures‟ success in reaching their goals and winning the public support in this continuous power struggle is their ability to persuade and impress their audience. As Teittinen succinctly puts it, “the winner is a party whose language, words, terms and symbolic expressions are dominant once reality and the context have been defined”(1). And this is where the need for critical listening and reading are felt more than any other time to realize what the reality is and how it is distorted through delicate and skilful use of language.

 

This present study, therefore, arose from the need to address the significant features of the language of political campaign speeches in Nigeria not only from the angle of micro-linguistic structures but also from the perspective of discourse patterns and pragmatic implications, taking into consideration the ideological and power patterns encoded in the texts. The work will show the role of language in establishing, creating and sustaining power relations, inequalities as well as ideological structures of society within the framework of Critical Discourse Analysis. According to McGregor,

 

Our words are never neutral. They carry the power that reflects the interests of who speaks or writes. They convey how we see ourselves as a profession, our identity, knowledge, values and beliefs and our truths. Our discourse permeates everything we do (online).

McGregor is of the view that discourse has the capability of making unbalanced power relations and portrayals of social groups to be common sense, normal and natural when in actual fact the reality is prejudice, injustice and inequalities. Thus, Using just words, those in power or wishing to be so can misdirect our concerns for persistent large systemic issues of class, gender, age, religion and culture so that they seem petty or non-existent. Unless we begin to debunk their words, we can be misled and duped into embracing the dominant worldview at our expense and their gain (McGregor: online).

Critical Discourse Analysis, henceforth referred to as CDA, takes the position that every language use is ideologically motivated; that all linguistic usages encode different ideologies resulting from their different situations and purposes; and that by these means, every language works as a form of social practice (Fairclough: 102). The scholars engaged in CDA look beyond the micro-descriptive level of linguistic analysis into institutional frameworks, cultures and ideologies to discern and define how personal and social ideologies are tacitly encoded in, validated and reinforced by the way sentences and utterances are constructed and connected as components of wholes. In other words, how the choice of words, sentences and utterances we make are not just arbitrary choices, but choices governed by how we are positioned in the social group and the ideological positions we wish to project. Our identity in the social structure is shown in the way we think, act and speak.

 

A text is a record of communication, which involves the presentation of identities of participants. It is produced by socially situated speakers, and it is, therefore, more than just words spoken or written on the pages of books. Bloor and Bloor consider a text as a product of a discourse. It is normally used to describe a linguistic record of a communicative event (7). On the other hand, a text can be a process, in the sense of a continuous process of semantic choice by people as they produce discourses. Each discourse is, therefore, a movement through the network of meaning potential with each set of choices constituting the environment for a further set. Lemke (quoted in Weiss and Wodak: 13) describes a text as “the concrete realizations of the abstract forms of knowledge (discourse) and van Dijk (Text and Context) expands this view by adding that “discourse is a form of knowledge in memory while text is the concrete oral utterances and written documents”(35). He is of the view that discourse is a communicative event which includes conversation, interaction, written texts, as well as associated gestures, face work, typographical layout, images and other semiotic and multimedia dimensions of signification. Van Dijk‟s definition brings multimodal discourse (analysis of visual arts, music and other cultural artefacts) under the umbrella term of discourse. For instance, a book incorporates written text as well as diagrams or charts to make its message clearer.

Firth‟s clarion call in 1937 and Austin‟s Speech Act Theory of 1962 are two pioneer works which recognize the power of words and utterances. The Speech Act Theory, and indeed the whole of pragmatic theory, is essentially concerned with how interlocutors [speakers and listeners] understand one another in spite of the possibility of their saying what they do not mean, and meaning what they do not say. The Speech Act Theory projects language as an instrument for social and interpersonal interaction which take effect under felicity conditions as portrayed in Grice’s conversational maxims (“be informative”, “be truthful”, “be relevant” and “be brief”) and Hymes “Communicative Competence” which is knowledge” as to when to speak, when not to speak, with whom, when, where and in what manner (Ndimele: 184).These scholars see language as a form of social action and social practice. According to Austin (1962), in uttering a sentence a speaker is usually involved in an act. The theory falls into three catchment points: locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary acts. A locutionary act is an act of saying something, that is, the act of producing an utterance with certain meaning. The illocutionary act refers to the social act performed by the speaker. It represents the intention of the speaker, for instance, to insult, to promise, or to praise and it is the core of the Speech Act Theory, while the perlocutionary act is the effect of the speaker’s utterance on the hearer. If a mother, for instance, says to a stubborn child who fiddles with their television set, “I will report to Daddy,” the locutionary act is the utterance, “I will report to Daddy.” which is intended to be a threat (the illocutionary act) to frighten the child out of the television set (the perlocutionary act). In a marriage vow where a husband says “I do,” the utterance is not describing what is happening but is actually part of the doing and performance, hence a performative utterance in which the illocutonary act is implicit. In all, however, the utterances make sense only within specific contexts. The illocutionary forces of utterances have tremendous social implications (Malmkjaer, 486-488). As Mey puts it: “words are not just labels we stick on things…The process of wording is based on interaction with our environment…We speak to the world and the world speaks back at us” (301-302). CDA studies and analyses words used in discourse to reveal the source of power, abuse, dominance, inequality and bias and how these sources are initiated, maintained, reproduced and transformed within specific social, economic, political and historical contexts.

 

This approach is often called “critical linguistics” – an interdisciplinary approach to language study with a critical point of view for the purpose of studying every language behaviour in natural speech situation of social relevance (Wodak, TheDiscourse Historical Approach, 72). Since every language use is framed within particular situations, institutions and social structure, the discourse produced in each context is shaped by them. According to Wodak (Aspects of Critical DiscourseAnalysis)

 

Discourse is socially constitutive as well as socially conditioned. It constitutes situations, objects of knowledge, and the social identities of, and the relationships between people and groups of people. It is constitutive both in the sense that it helps to sustain and reproduce the social status quo, and in the sense that it contributes to transforming it. Since discourse is socially consequential, it gives rise to important issues of power. Discursive practices may have major ideological effects – that is, they can help produce and reproduce unequal power relations between (for instance) social classes, women and men, and ethnic/cultural majorities and minorities through the ways in which they represent things and position people (8).

 

Fairclough maintains “that language is linked to social realities and brings about social change” Critical Discourse Analysis: The Critical Study of Language (135). He states that government involves the manipulation and use of language in significant ways, and is particularly concerned with the linkage between discourse, ideology and power relations within society. Fairclough‟s linguistic orientation is the Systemic Functional Grammar of Halliday. He emphasizes a text as the product of a process in which discourse is closely related to social structures in its production and interpretation. Fairclough‟s model of DA operates with a dialectical relationship between the micro- structures of discourse (linguistic features) and the macro- structures of society (societal structures and ideology). He stresses that while macro-structures of society may determine the micro-structures of discourse; these in turn reproduce the larger social and ideological structures. Concurring with the dialectical relationship between discourse and social context, Johnstone (9-18) listed what he regarded as „heuristic‟ to explain the various ways in which the social context of discourse influences and is influenced by the discourse produced in each context. They include the following positions:

 

  • Discourse is shaped by the world and discourse shapes the world. This means that language mediates and represents the world from different points of view.

 

  • Discourse is shaped by language and discourse shapes language. In other words, language is used to represent events, signs, meanings, and the social and historical conditions etc. Akwanya (Discourse Analysis) concurs that language occurs in a great range of modalities: in scientific formulas as pure descriptions unconditioned by time and place, and ideally conveys nothing about the individual who has constructed it. At the other extreme is conversation and inter-subjective experience where the language has the personal direction of the speaker and is tied to the time and place of the utterance, and has both meaning and reference (1).

 

  • Discourse is shaped by participants and discourse shapes participants. Discourse is used by producers to justify their ideas, persuade and impress their audience by utilizing subtle ideological discourse structures in their speeches. Texts are not just used to inform us of some reality; they, additionally, based on the ideological standpoints of the person, organization, etc. involved in their production, construct the reality.
  • Discourse is shaped by prior discourses and discourse shapes the possibilities of future discourses. The contextual and historical factors which frame the discourse and the discursive events should be integrated in the study. These historical dimensions of discursive actions explore the ways in which particular genres of discourse are subject to diachronic change (Wodak, Disorders of Discourse, 65).

 

  • Discourse is shaped by its medium and discourse shapes the possibilities of its medium. Critical Discourse analysts recognize the importance of context to the meaning of the text. Therefore, both context of situation and context of culture combine to provide information that will enable an analyst to interpret the text meaningfully to provide a comprehensive description of a piece of language. Context gives a discourse its social attributes and relevance, since a text does not exist in a vacuum; it is provided within a social context.

 

  • Discourse is shaped by purpose and discourse shapes possible purposes. The social organization of the field of politics and political groups is largely based on ideological differences, alliances and similarities. Indeed, political ideologies not only are involved in the production or understanding of political discourses and other political practices, but are also (re)produced by them. In a sense, discourses make ideologies „observable‟ in the sense that it is only in discourse that they may be explicitly „expressed‟ and „formulated‟.

 

Ricoeur mapped out the characteristics of discourse that the semantics of ordinary language must take account of based on a careful synthesis of the insights from several language philosophers (notably: Austin, Searle, Strawson, Russell, and Frege)

 

 

 

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and linguists, namely, Jakobson and Benveniste (Akwanya, Semantics and Discourse 131-134).

 

These characteristics are: (a) Discourse is simultaneously event and meaning: As event, it differentiates itself from language, which is synchronic [and] has only a virtual existence within the passage of time. Discourse rather belongs to the moment it is uttered. But, it is at the same time meaningful because it embodies an intention and can be re-identified as same. This means that if all discourse is realised as an event, all discourse is understood as meaning. The effort to understand is not the fleeting event, but rather, the meaning which endures; (b) Discourse identifies and predicates: to specify one thing and one alone, one makes use of the proper noun, the demonstrative pronoun, and the definite description (the definite article followed by a determinant). Other characteristics of discourse, according to Ricoeur, are: (c) it is an act; (d) it unites sense and reference; and (e) it is anchored in the present, the present of the speaker who uses the personal pronoun (“I”), and the present tense of the verb.

 

Every discourse, be it spoken or written, stems from different sources such as power, cultural or social background, religious or social status. Every discourse is the product of a social event and also the product of the social institution in which it is embedded. Thus, we can talk of political discourse, gender discourse, courtroom discourse, media discourse, classroom discourse, medical discourse, advertising discourse to mention a few. These different „institutionalized discourses‟ (Mey, Pragmatics: An Introduction, 297) have their different „ideological discursive formations‟ (IDFs) which control their various institutional subjects. According to Fairclough, IDFs refer to “conventional ways of talking or writing and seeing the world that both create and are created by conventional ways of thinking”. These linked ways of talking and thinking have been implicated to constitute ideologies (patterns of beliefs, values and habitual actions as well as patterns of language) which serve to circulate power in society. According to him:

There is usually one IDF which is clearly dominant. Each IDF is a sort of a„speech community‟ with its own discourse norms but also embedded within and symbolized by the latter, to its „ideologicalnorms‟ „Institutional subjects are constructed, in accordance with the norms of an IDF, in subject positions whose ideological underpinnings they may be unaware of. A characteristic of a dominant IDF is the capacity to „naturalize‟ ideologies – (that is) to win acceptance for them as non-ideological ‘common-sense‟ (Original emphasis) (27).

Dominant discourses are said to serve the interest of the dominant social group, usually the group with greater access to social privileges and especially to the media communication. This gives them the advantage to control what can and should be said and which perspective to foreground (Ezeifeka, 4). They use discourse to manipulate opinion, win consensus from the dominated and legitimize domination as „common sense‟ discourses which the dominated, who are also ignorant of them, usually accept as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Consequently, those with less power and access to the media and social privileges are oppressed, their views are not represented in discourse and the only truth resides with the dominant view. Wareing (What is Language and What Does it Do, 12) gave this typical example which to the uncritical mind is a true account of history:

 

“Christopher Columbus discovered America”

The use of the word “discovered” in this sentence is a typical example of where language reflects the “truth” of the more dominant group (the colonial masters) and hides the truth of the less privileged/dominated group (the American aborigines). Because the Europeans had access to the written media, and thus wield the linguistic power, their own perspective was the one reflected in history books over the years so much so that for everyone studying that history, the word “discovered” seemed the most “natural” word to use. It is obvious that if the perspectives of the aborigines were to be reported, that word would have been a misnomer (as they did not need anyone to discover them) because that expedition was the beginning of their loss of identity and the near extinction of their race. In this regard, Edelman asserts that: “Language is an integral facet of the political scene and not simply an instrument of describing events but itself a part of events, strongly shaping their meaning and helping to shape the political roles which officials and mass public see themselves as playing” (192).

Language of political activities and political relations has a key role in the exchange of values in social life and transforming power into right and obedience into duty. It may create power and become an area where power can be applied. In essence, politicians‟ campaign is quintessentially a language game. Political candidates seek to mould public perception of themselves and their programmes and elicit support through speeches, campaign activities, symbolic appeals, and various strategies. Meyerhoff points out that we draw very powerful inferences about people from the way they talk (65). Supporting Meyerhoff, Jones and Pecci maintain that “politicians throughout ages achieved success thanks to their skilful use of “rhetoric” by which they aim to persuade their audience of the validity of their views and their delicate and careful use of elegant and persuasive language in order to woo voters” (44). However, the ability of the electorate to interpret political messages and intensions of the politicians and then respond appropriately is a function of how effective these candidates are in exploring and deploying the linguistic facilities available to them.

Texts have been described as „sites for struggle‟, sites through which individuals and groups convey their personal and collective ideologies which struggle with each other for dominance (Wodak, 10). A text is made up of words and sentences whose importance is its meaning. These meanings are coded in words and sentences whose meanings are more than the additive value of these raw linguistic data.

Since every text has some hidden meaning, Critical Discourse analysts, therefore, advocate a critical reading of or listening to texts with a view to uncovering the hidden messages. This they do by paying attention to linguistic and extra-linguistic features of discourse in the critique of linguistic practices which conceal how they are manipulative and to create awareness to the ”subjected”, even probably to the dominant group who may be unaware of them. In other words, since discourse is used to construct unequal power relations, CDA can also be used to subvert and deconstruct them.

 

Nigeria is a country characterized by ethical and moral problems of corruption, injustice, denial of fundamental human rights, mismanagement and misappropriation of public funds, lack of transparency and accountability, embezzlement, arbitrary award and inflation of contracts, diversion of funds, gender inequality and a general insensitivity to the feeling of the other person (Ndubuisi, 10-18; Aniche, 52). In the 2007 and 2014 electioneering campaigns, most Nigerians were conversant with the political manifestoes with such claims and inscriptions as:

  • Our vision is to banish poverty in Ekiti.
  • We are the messiahs.
  • Better life for rural dwellers is assured if I am elected….
  • There will be free education, free medical care, uninterrupted power supply, good food and portable water on the table of every Nigerian… etc. (Ndubisi, Nigeria What Hope? 13).

 

Catchy lexicalizations are fore-grounded in such campaign manifestoes and the unwary rise to the bait. This is one unique way politicians hold their audience spell bound. The essence of these unrealistic promises is to persuade the audience to vote for them at the polls. The fulfilment of these promises had always remained a mirage and most Nigerians are resigned to them.

 

It is common knowledge that politics is concerned with power; the power to make decisions, to control resources, to control other people‟s behaviour, and often to control their values. The Nigerian politicians, have at one time or another, been accused of not only steering people‟s thoughts and beliefs but also of controlling their thoughts and beliefs. They persuade their audience of the validity of their political claims through common resources which include expert skills, the restriction of information, and the ability to confer favours on others or to injure them without physical force, and crude bribery in order to protect certain group interest. It is, therefore, not uncommon for most Nigerians to lose interest and confidence in voting and in listening to political manifestoes. This is an unsatisfactory state of affairs which forms the basis of this study. Language is projected not just as a means of communicating ideas but also as a tool for accomplishing goal-directed actions. It is a very strong device in promoting certain ideologies, institutions and distorting realities. The researcher assumes that campaign language is capable of weaving visions and imaginaries which can change realties, obfuscate realities and construe them ideologically. In the same vein, Szanto identifies the features of language of politics as a:

 

Lexicon of conflict and drama, of ridicules and reproach, pleading and persuasion, colour and bite permeated. A language designed to valour men, destroy some and change the mind of others (7).

 

Since language has power potentials to influence, make or mar individuals and shape public opinions, in the context of this present work, we shall see how feelings, emotions as well as ideological beliefs of individuals or groups are conveyed through linguistic expressions to project personal and group ideology as well as to encode power. This conforms to my earlier assumption that language and politics are social events that are inextricably intertwined. In the light of this, intellectuals, including discourse analysts should be able to make judgments as to what is actually the truth, what is false, what is „hidden‟ or „absent‟ or misrepresented in discourse that go to distort the truth, hence, empowerment to the less privileged group to debunk the hidden messages through linguistic means. Language use during election campaigns can be described as a social process and a socially conditioned process that can be used to accomplish tremendous social work (Schiffrin: 15). Thus, politics as an exploitation of language and social practice is necessarily a linguistic and social event. Secondly, the present work is motivated by the consideration that because people‟s lives are becoming increasingly shaped by textual representations which are politically, socially or economically motivated coupled with the present explosion in information technology, there is need for people to create awareness on how these representations should be internalized. As our everyday lives become pervasively textually mediated (Fairclough, 75), there is need for “critical language awareness”

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showing the nature of texts presented/represented… whose representations are these? Who gains what from them? What social relations do they draw people into? What are their ideological effects and what alternative representations are there?

 

In the course of this inquiry, an attempt is made to explore a wide variety of functions of linguistic features that have implications for ideology and power in Nigerian politics from the perspective of discourse. Relevant analytical works of other researchers in the field of CDA are employed to determine the extent to which the plethora of texts produced, distributed and consumed in the 2007and 2014 election campaigns in Nigeria promote or hinder the promotion of asymmetrical power relations, social structures and identities. Also significant in this study is how individual and group ideologies were projected or represented through linguistic devices. The work would also establish the awareness or consciousness of the Nigerian populace, of the coercive power of texts. The implication of this linguistic manipulation and competence in Nigeria, if it exists in the political institution, would be a kind of awakening the consciousness of every producer and consumer of political discourse to be aware because utterances in the political campaign arena are not neutral and necessarily true.

 

This thesis is a description and an analysis of formal features and meanings of texts of campaign speeches in the 2007 and 2014 gubernatorial elections to unmask ideologically permeated and often obscured structures of power, political control and dominance. These power relations are reproduced, enacted and legitimated by the application off certain linguistic devices. In essence the work examines the aspect of power and ideological features that the gubernatorial speeches reflect with a view to determining the interpersonal component of linguistic features that instantiate power and how the dominated/oppressed groups may discursively resist such abuse.

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1.1.1         Ideology

 

Ideology is an important feature of critical discourse analysis. One obvious fact noticeable by anyone who has tried to study the concept of „ideology‟ is that there is a problem with regard to its specific definition. A historical survey of the emergence and use of the term links the term with thinkers as from Destutt de Tracy, through Napoleon Bonaparte, Karl Marx, Karl Mannheim, Max Horkheimer (and indeed the entire members of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research). It would require a separate study to engage in a detailed analysis of the views of each of these and other thinkers on the concept; but to move ahead with this study, I need to present below a model of the structure and components of the concept.

 

Ideology refers to a body of ideas, that is belief systems, characteristic of a particular social group, class or society and ideas which help to legitimize a dominant political power (Eagleton:1) These belief systems are socially shared by the members of a body of social actors. It has been described as implicit assumptions held largely in interaction with power relations (Fairclough: 20). In this implicitness lies the capacity of ideology to give sustenance to power inequalities and thus serve “political” purposes. Ideologies are seen by Wodak

 

  • as particular ways of representing and constructing society, which reproduce unequal relations of power, relations of domination and exploitation. According to Luke (366), the notion ideology refers to the systems of ideas, beliefs, practices, and representations which operate in the interests of an identifiable social class or cultural group. In other words, ideologies consist of social representations that define the social identity of a group, that is, its shared beliefs about its fundamental conditions and ways of existence and reproduction.

Odebunmi et al construe ideology to mean a body of dominant ideas, beliefs, values and knowledge grids that inform and influence the thought processes of individual groups, classes, etc. In the same vein, Ogunmodede (x) defines it as a complex body of ideas, beliefs, values and insights we hold as individuals and as groups that influence and direct our behaviour and serve as a basis for our actions as individuals and as groups. This definition sees ideology simply as a world- view, a positive concept and not as a negative concept. Ideologies are not any kind of socially shared beliefs, such as socio-cultural knowledge or social attitudes, but more fundamental or axiomatic. They control and organize other socially shared beliefs. Thus, a racist ideology may control attitudes about immigration, a feminist ideology may control attitudes about abortion or glass ceilings on the job or knowledge about gender inequality in society, and a social ideology may favour a more important role of the state in public affairs. Hence, ideologies are foundational social beliefs of a rather general and abstract nature.

 

These knowledge and belief systems constitute social, political, economic and cultural structures that affect the totality of social life and existence. As Jakubowski states, ideology is a false consciousness which is not in accord with reality, which neither discovers nor expresses reality in an adequate manner “but whose ideas are demonstrated to be false on the grounds that they represent particular interests”(98). These interests could be class, race, creed, and gender. One of their cognitive functions is to provide (ideological) coherence to the beliefs of a group and thus facilitate their acquisition and use in everyday situations. Among other things, ideologies also specify what general cultural values (freedom, equality, justice, etc.) are relevant for the group. As the socio-cognitive foundation of social groups, ideologies are gradually acquired and (sometimes) changed through life or a life period, and hence need to be relatively stable. One does not become a pacifist, feminist, racist or socialist overnight, nor does one change one’s basic ideological outlook in a few days. Many experiences and discourses are usually necessary to acquire or change ideologies.

 

Another definition sees ideology in its pejorative sense as „a system of ideas and beliefs about human conduct which has normally been simplified and manipulated in order to obtain popular support for certain actions and which is usually emotive in its reference to social actions‟ (Watson and Hill: 129).

 

Writing on “Ideology: Descriptive, Pejorative and Positive Views”, Raymond Geuss, in his book, The Idea of a Critical Theory: Habermas and the Frankfurt School, presented three different senses of using the concept „ideology‟. According to him, in the descriptive sense, the use of the term presupposes that every human group has an ideology. The term, used in this sense is both „non-evaluative‟ and „non-judgmental‟. It contains both discursive and non-discursive elements. By the first he meant such elements as concepts, ideas, beliefs; and by the non-discursive elements, he meant such things as characteristic of gestures, rituals, attitudes, forms of artistic activity, and so on (6).

 

This sense of the concept „ideology‟ often can be taken to mean the worldviews or world picture of a group. In this regard, Geuss noted that the intuition which motivates the introduction of a concept of „ideology as world-view‟ is that individuals and groups don‟t just „have‟ randomly collected bundles of beliefs, attitudes, life-goals, forms of artistic activity, and so on. Rather, the bundles have some coherence; the elements of the bundle are related to each other. They all somehow „fit‟ (20). In referring to an ideology as a worldview, therefore, what is

 

20

 

 

meant is that the subsets of the beliefs which constitute the ideology of a group do so along the line with the following five properties:

 

  • the elements of the subset are widely shared among the agents in the group;

 

  • the elements in this subset are systematically interconnected;

 

 

  • they are central to the agents‟ conceptual scheme as the agents won‟t easily give them up;

 

  • the elements in the subsets have a wide and deep influence on the

 

agents‟ behaviour or on some particularly important or central sphere of action; and,

 

  • The beliefs in the subsets are central in that they deal with central issues of human life (i.e. they give interpretations of such things as death, the need to work, sexuality, and so on) or central metaphysical issue (10).

 

Still on this same line of interconnection between the components of a system and subsets of beliefs, there is the concept of „form of consciousness‟ about which Geuss noted that “„Form of consciousness‟ is an ideology when it refers to a particular systematically interconnected subset of all the beliefs, attitudes, and so on, which the agents of a society/group hold”(12). With regard to ideology in the pejorative sense, a theory may arise as a programme of criticism of the beliefs, attitudes, and wants of the agents in a particular society. This (form) is initiated by the observation that agents in the society are deluded about themselves, their position, their society or their interests (Ajah: 26). The aim of this conception of ideology therefore, is to demonstrate to the members of the society that they are deluded. It aims at freeing theagents from a particular kind of delusion. Thus, the basic use of the term in this sense, as Geuss rightly pointed out, is pejorative, negative or critical. In this p ejorative sense of the use of the term ideology, the concepts of „false consciousness‟ and „a form of consciousness being ideologically false‟ come to mind. And in this regard, Geuss noted that a form of consciousness can be ideologically false in three ways, namely: in virtue of some epistemic properties of the beliefs which are its properties; in virtue of its functional properties; and in virtue of its genetic properties (15).

 

Regarding the third sense, which is the positive sense of the use of the term ideology, Geuss noted that:

 

from the wants, needs, interests, and the objective situation of a given human group, we can set ourselves the task of determining what kind of socio-cultural system or what worldview would be most appropriate for that group, i.e. what „ideology‟ (in some descriptive sense of the term) is most likely to enable the members of the group to satisfy their wants and needs and further their interests. I will call this task of producing for the group an „ideology in the positive or laudatory sense (22-23).

 

Going by Geuss‟s presentations of the structures of different ideologies based on the different conceptions of them, it seems clear that he is making some not very necessary polarizations of the three senses. Detailed as his conceptualization of the structure of ideologies are; detailed also as his attempt to note the components of ideologies is, his failure to notice that every critical social theorist, as an evaluator of the social circumstances, first of all describes the elements of the ideology that he has interest in; and, only then can he look for the contradictory and dysfunctional, aspects of the ideology. But then, since Critical Discourse Analysis, as rightly presented by Fairclough, van Dijk and Wodak is the domain of critical social theorists; and since this domain not only analyses and criticises the social situations (especially how power is abused, enacted and legitimized) but also prescribes alternatives, it should be understandable, therefore, that the social theorists, apart from describing and criticising, should also proffer some alternative ways of reconstructing the perceived social (ideological or structural) ills. In this research ideology is seen as a form of manipulation, influence or marginalization in order to win acceptance.

 

1.1.2                    Power

 

The concept of power has proved problematic, with many competing views as to where it is located, what it consists of and how it is best analysed. Power is a complex and an abstract idea but has significant influence on our lives. Politics is concerned with power, the power to make decisions, to control resources, to control other people‟s behaviour, and often to control their values. It is the “ability of its holders to exact compliance or obedience of other individuals to their will” (The New FontanaDictionary of Modern Thoughts, 1999, 678). Thomas and Wareing state that “power is quite an abstract concept, but an infinitely important influence on our lives”(10-11). For Fairclough, power “is to do with powerful participants controlling and constraining the contribution of non- powerful participants.”(38). Power is also equated with influence and control (van Dijk 1993, 1996). Another dimension of power is that provided by Brockeriede. According to Brockeriede, power is “the capacity to exert interpersonal influence”(313). It is also encoded in discourse as a way of gaining control over hearers (Oha:111) It is also interesting to note that power is encoded in the ideological workings of language. CDA presupposes understanding the nature of social power and dominance and how discourse contributes to their reproduction. Moor and Henry in Wareing describes power as “the force in society that gets things done and by studying it, we can identify who controls what, and for what benefit” (11). Such control may pertain to action and cognition: that is a powerful group may not only limit the freedom of action of the other, but may also influence their minds. Power is “a set of resources and actions which are available to speakers and which can be used more or less successfully depending on who the speakers are and what kind of speech situation they are in” (Thornborrow: 8). Wodak interprets power as “discursive control [including] that has access to the various types of discourse, who can and talk to whom, in which situations, and about what. The more powerful the people, the larger their verbal possibilities in discourse become” (Wodak: 66). One obvious method of acquisition of power and enforcement of one‟s belief systems is through physical coercion or by indirect means of coercion through the legal system. Precisely, power could be exercised in two ways:

 

  1. Use of physical force/coercion (or the threat of it) brought into operation by the law, the police or the military to secure social control and dominance. Exercising power in this way has been described as costly for those in control in terms of recruiting personnel and arresting people every time for wrongdoing. This is not the denotation of power meant here.

 

  1. Use of ideology for shaping the consciousness of institutional subjects through persuasion, dissimulation or manipulation mediated by discourse, to accept the ideas, beliefs and values of those in control as „the truth‟ that everyone should strive after. This is the cheapest means of social control (Jones and Wareing: 34), and this denotation of power is what this work is about. It could be a general consensus and thus take the form of what Gramsci called ‘hegemony‟. Class domination, sexism and racism are characteristic examples of such hegemony.

 

1.1.3                  Language and politics

 

Language and politics have become inseparable to an extent that language is an indispensable tool in politics. An inquiry of the language of politics helps us to gain insight into how language is used by those who wish to gain power, those who wish to exercise power and those who wish to keep power. This appears to be in consonance with the claim that language is a vital process of setting the personality and the programme of the candidates to the public with the primary aim of gaining their support and mobilizing them to participate in the process of securing and controlling power (Opeibi:210). No doubt that politics has become a linguistic issue while language has become a political issue. Chilton (688) states that language is „the universal capacity of humans in all societies to communicate, while by politics he means „the art of governance‟ Thus this inquiry views the language as an instrument to interact or transact in various situations and/or in different organizations being conventionally recognized as political environment. It is generally accepted that the strategy that one group of people takes to make the other group of people do what it intends to be done is known as a linguistic strategy. It involves manipulative application of the language. Therefore, linguistic manipulation is the conscious use of language in a devious way to control the others. (Fairclough: 6)

 

The support that citizens have for the politicians will be determined by what they say and how they say it for success to be achieved whether in candidacy or programmes of politics. No wonder Opeibi (13) refers to the relationship that exists between language and politics as symbiotic. The studies of the language of politics have been carried out within the framework of political rhetoric, linguistic stylistics, discourse analysis and critical discourse analysis. Political campaigns, speeches, parliamentary debates and political interviews, written texts, broadcasts are meant to inform, persuade, and instruct voters about issues that are of considerable importance. From these submissions, it is obvious, that speech making is one of the political activities of politicians which are made possible through the channel opened up by language. Graber observes that political discourse crops up when political actors in and out of government communicate about political matters for political purposes (196). The success of a political discourse will be determined by how effective politicians utilize the channel opened up by language. Opeibi (22) emphasizes the fact thus:

 

No matter how good a candidates manifesto is, no matter how superior political thoughts and ideologies of a political party may be, they can only be expressed and further translated into social actions for social change and social continuity through the facilities provided by language.

Language can be used to convince, persuade, entertain, promise, enlighten or inform the people. No matter what is achieved in politics, language serves as the link to people‟s hearts.

 

In the English speaking world, the connection between language and politics was first brought to general attention by George Orwell in 1946 in an article titled “Politics and the English Language.” Wilson (400) notes that George Orwell considered the way in which language may be used to manipulate thought and suggests that non-political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible and that propaganda can be combated by rational analysis and argument which entails rephrasing propagandist statements in a different form. Wilson (400) also notes that in political statements, syntactic selections affect interpretation but that it must be seen in relation to other contextual factors and the impact of lexical choices made. In this regard, it is not simply manipulation in the case of political language but the goal of such manipulation by politicians is seen as wanting to hide the negative within the particular formulations such that the people may not see the truth or the horror before them.

Our expressions often reveal a lot about the human and political nature in us. Politics wields its language in a very distinct manner that cannot be ignored. Scholars have been commenting on the fact that the language of politics is centred on rhetoric and propaganda meant to persuade and bargain.

In campaign speeches, words are seriously emotionalized and devoid of objective information (O‟Regan (2006) as qtd in Odebunmi et al 2009) just to bait the public that look up to them for solutions to their problems. So, rather than solving problems, the public is bombarded with hypnotic and manipulative utterances that are riddled with clichés of different stretches. The examples below are found in Nigerian politics:

 

  • I need your mandate.

 

  • House for all by the year…2014.

 

  • We shall give land to those who are willing to develop it.

 

  • We shall cast away the jinx of poverty…

 

  • Let‟s present a common front.

 

  • Let‟s protect our (nascent) democracy.

 

  • We need reform in all sectors.

 

  • We must reconstruct our society in all ramifications.

 

The public is very easily hoodwinked by politicians through catchy-phrases like these which may have represented past truth and may have stimulated thought rather than stultify it. As a result of the consistent use of these items, communication in politics is usually made so deliberately vague and imprecise that the audience is required to decode the message and give it meaning. In this way, the politicians have sent the signal that they could be all things to everybody and that they do not have to worry too much about accountability or responsibility for the things they say or promise. This is seen in the way some lexical items are used. Thus, the word masses, for example, can be employed differently in the paradigm thus: poor = needy = deprived = disadvantaged = underprivileged= less privileged.

 

From the analysis, it becomes clear that language and politics are intimately interwoven however, it is not out of place to argue that other behaviour which include physical coercion abound in politics. Nevertheless, political activity does not exist without the use of language. Olateju and Adesanmi as cited in Odebunmi (396), politicians are fully conscious of the inseparability of both language and politics; hence, their resolve to enlist language as a weapon of construction or destruction depending on their political inclinations.

 

1.1.4                     Political discourse

 

The study of political institutions and everyday life and decision-making in organizations has become a major new focus of CDA. Political discourse, as a sub-category of discourse in general, can be on two criteria: functional and thematic. Political discourse is a result of politics and it is historically and culturally determined. It fulfils different functions due to different political activities.

 

Woods (50) mentions the following speech acts as some of its functions which are to protest, legitimize, intimidate, persuade the people or lead them to a particular view of political reality and to act in a way that is consistent with this view by voting for a particular party. Political discourse then, is not neutral as a medium of communication. It is compared with the discourse of advertising which is designed to lead its audience in the direction of particular thoughts, beliefs, and ultimately actions. According to Woods (50) political discourse leans heavily on devices frequently used in advertising discourse at the levels of sound, words and syntax which are key elements in arranging political messages for maximum desired effect. These elements (and others) are interwoven and layered to manipulate the meanings of political messages. During campaigns, linguistic techniques such as persuasion, rational argument, irrational strategies, threats, entreaties, bribes, manipulation, and so on that can help to achieve the politicians‟ aims are used (Odebunmi et al (396).

 

1.1.5                     Context

It is pertinent to comment briefly on how crucial the concept of „Context‟ is to discourse analysis. The concept has featured prominently in the views of some of the scholars mentioned above (e.g. Van Dijk, Halliday and Schiffrin). Some of the forms of context that can be considered include social, physical, geographical, spatial, historical and cultural contexts. What is suggested by the concept then is that apart from the text itself, there are other extra-textual or non-linguistic materials which contribute to the understanding and interpretation of the text (Osoba: 41). Although Malinowski coined the term „context of situation‟ to mean the environment of the text in his work on the Trobrianders, sufficient information about the total cultural background of the text is also necessary. This is because the things that is Involved in any kind of linguistic interaction, in any kind of conversational exchange, were not only the immediate sight and sounds surrounding the event but also the whole cultural history behind the participants, and behind the kind of practices they were engaging in (Halliday and Hasan: 6) Therefore, the context of situation and the context of culture combine to provide information that will enable an analyst to interpret the text meaningfully. Essentially, „context‟ is attributable to the paradigm of meaning potential of a text other than the linguistic content and context which helps us to provide a comprehensive description of a piece of language. Context gives a discourse its social attributes and relevance. Since a given text does not exist in a vacuum, it is provided within a social context. That is why the utterance” Mind how you go” (Gimson: 320 & Roach: 133) carries sympathy and concern in one situation but portrays some commanding sternness in another situation. To understand the intended message, the utterance must be placed in its proper context for proper interpretation (Onuigbo: 9). Cook emphasizes the indispensability of context to discourse analysis thus:

we are also influenced by the situation in which we receive messages, by our cultural and social relationship with the participants, by what we know and what we assume the sender knows, the question of what gives discourse its unity may be impossible without considering the world at large: the context (9).

Halliday identifies three features of the context of situation: field, tenor and mode of discourse (95). These three concepts serve to interpret the social context of a text, the environment in which meanings are exchanged (Halliday and Hasan: 12). Further details on these three concepts will be given later in this work. It is interesting to note that although discourse analysis appears to be a recent phenomenon in linguistic studies, it has assumed a wider dimension and its approach is being used to investigate virtually every domain of language use. Discourse is a core concept that cuts across several disciplines especially the humanities and social sciences (Jaworski: 47-53).

 

1.2         Statement of Problem

The research revolves around the thesis that discourse in mediating social actions, experiences and worldviews, and enacting personal and group relationships, is also a source of asserting, legitimizing, maintaining and sustaining inequalities and injustices, power and dominance, abuse and bias, making them appear as societal conventions within social institutions. These asymmetries results in repressive language use which manifests in the form of manipulation, marginalization, offensive language use, propaganda, use and abuse of power, gate keeping of what gets to be represented in discourse and what should not be represented in the imposition of a dominant ideology on the less privileged ones. One of the political events during which politicians try to use discourse to establish, maintain or sustain power is during political campaigns.

The deployment of linguistic facilities in political campaigns is the first determiner of the acceptability of most candidates who impose their ideology on others in their quest to win the people‟s mandate. They win this mandate by naturalizing and neutralizing their ideologies, making them seem part of the „knowledge-base‟ of their social institution, and hence an acceptable and incontrovertible ‘order of discourse’, and part of „common sense‟. These ideological issues are „hidden‟ in texts such that even those who suffer as a consequence are ignorant of them and may contribute to their sustenance.

Previous scholars on political campaign speeches in Nigeria had tended toward a description and analysis of style, innovative and persuasive strategies of politicians, and manipulation of linguistic structures to champion individual interest presidential election campaign speeches as observed by Omozuwa and Ezejideaku(2007), Opeibi(2004) and Abdullahi-Idiagbon(2010).

 

These are some of the catchy, important and eye-opening studies on the social relevance of discourse analyses in Nigeria’s political scene. The researcher noted there is a gap to fill in literature in that these scholars have not investigated such issues as the role of discourse in the(re)production and sustenance of power and dominance; how language is used and abused by many Nigerian politicians; the discursive strategies used by most Nigerian politicians for the maintenance of inequality in different contexts; and how language is used by gubernatorial aspirants to project ideological beliefs of individuals and groups to manipulate the greater number of unthinking others .It is the above gaps in the few discourse analyses carried out on political campaign speeches in Nigeria that necessitated this study.

 

The present work investigates the interface between structures of discourse and structures of power in the eight gubernatorial campaign speeches in the South-Western zone of the country. The study aims at unfolding the hidden meanings relating to the social structures, intentions, identities and power relations of (serving and intending) political office holders. These hidden meanings need to be unmasked so that the structures and power relations that they sustain can be weakened. It is important to weaken these structures so that Nigerian politicians will be more honest, and more Nigerians will be awakened to the linguistic and discourse features that sustain the ideology and power relations which have continued to present the selfish interests of very few politicians as if they were those of all Nigerians.

 

1.3              Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study is summed up in the following:

 

  • To investigate and interpret the 2007&2014 gubernatorial election campaign speeches as pieces of discourse.

 

  • To apply the analytical tool of Critical Discourse Analysis and aspects of Systemic Functional Linguistics in the explication of the campaign texts.

 

  • To investigate linguistic expressions which carry ideological colourations in the texts under review.

 

  • To find out if these ideological discursive formations sustain power and unequal power relations and linguistic manipulation in favour of some groups at the expense of others.

 

  • To find out if the political campaign speeches selected have hidden meanings and agenda.

 

  • To awaken the consciousness of language users to the effect of language on the individual and group ideologies so that as text producers and consumers, they may refrain from perpetrating and accepting respectively, these oppressive, manipulative and suppressive dominant ideologies.

 

1.4         Significance of Study

 

Human beings are essentially political animals whose political instincts are always manifesting in the choice and use of words. A conscious attempt must, therefore, be made to critically assess the ideological/political undertone behind their utterances. The Critical Discourse Analysis, as we have said before, goes beyond linguistic analysis to project socio-political messages inherent in linguistic expressions and its consequences on the hearer. Of great interest to us is the contribution of this work to the inventory of political discourse in Nigeria. The work will create awareness and raise the consciousness of all stakeholders and particularly to language scholars in the Nigerian social setting to the potentials of discourse and texts to mediate dominant discursive practices. These scholars will gain insight into the peculiar power and ideological structures implicit in campaign speeches.

 

To text producers and consumers, the work will provide the inspiration on how to use and accept certain discursive practices which have hitherto become the order of discourse. They would come to terms with the fact that the so-called common sense ideological formations could be deconstructed in texts because discourse has the potentials to establish these ideological positions or to subvert them. Finally, politics has remained a veritable source of human activities where language, whether spoken or written, is ideologically patterned. As a dynamic social process and an interactive forum, it involves a lot of linguistic negotiation that continuously yield fresh data that can be used for sociolinguistic research. To this end, language experts would be more critically aware of the dynamics of language. Not much work have been done in the area of CDA in the Nigerian political discourse. The work will therefore, be an addition to existing scholarship in this area of investigation.

 

The research would encourage future researchers in this field and provide more insight into the way discourse sustains the connections between language, power and ideology. This can therefore expose the transformations in language and enlighten us on how it shapes and reshapes the given reality. Critical Discourse Analysis is provoking great awareness in the issue of social power abuse, dominance, inequality and linguistic repression.

 

1.5         Scope of Study

 

The work is designed to examine election campaign texts produced during the 2007 & 2014 gubernatorial elections in Nigeria. Two political speeches each, of four governors from the South-Western geo-political zone were taken. The zone comprises six states and they are: Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo. The area is dominated by the Yoruba people who are apparently sensitive in their politicking. The choice of the Fourth Republic was informed by the general belief that the elections were a monumental fraud of a kind that has never been experienced in the history of Nigeria. Its characteristics are organized thuggery, ballot box snatching, voter intimidation, result manipulation and wholesale subversion of the will of the people, all of which were planned and executed by the ruling party to perpetuate itself in power (qtd. in Marietu: 170)

 

Secondly, a total of eight speeches from four gubernatorial aspirants in Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo and Osun states were analysed because textual analysis using the systemic functional model is usually painstaking, being that it looks at patterns created by long speeches of texts. The linguistic data already chosen will therefore provide a quantum of data for analysis. Going beyond this will be unrealistic because of the limitations in time and space.

 

The era also witnessed the mobilization of the electorate through political advertising. There are different forms of political advertising, but the print media remains one of the oldest mechanisms for election campaigns and it is one of the most important sources of political information in Nigeria.

Significantly, the selected texts highlight variety of discourse features, figurative and rhetorical devices employed during the period. This is usually done to gain attention and generate interest through attacking advertising strategies.

 

CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF SELECTED POLITICAL CAMPAIGN SPEECHES OF GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES IN SOUTH-WESTERN NIGERIA 2007-2014

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