n African Journal of Rhetoric - Rhetoric, political transition(s) and democratic violences - the case of Nigerian presidential inaugural speeches

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1998-2054


In recent times, I have been fascinated by the notion of democratic violence and how the activities of the so-called democratic institutions engender protest. This paper looks at presidential inaugural speeches as an important feature of democratic transitions. Th is routine presentation should under normal circumstances signal renewal and hope but for some African countries like Nigeria, prospect is usually uncertain. This uncertainty often results from ethical incompatibility between the speech presented and the moral standing of the speechmaker to deliver on his promises. This paper therefore looks at the inaugural speech as a potential source of violence if it is presented following a stolen election. I draw on the White's notion of rhetoric as a 'historical configuration' and 'modifying force'.

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