n African Journal of Rhetoric - Rhetoric of power resistance in Nigeria's ruling vs. opposition party conflict : a critical discourse analysis of Governor Rauf Aregbesola's 2010 inaugural speech

Volume 8 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1998-2054


This paper examines the rhetoric of power resistance of the opposition party in Southwestern Nigeria against the ruling party at the federal level, drawing upon the 26th November 2010 inaugural speech of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State. Applying the tools of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) expounded in Fairclough's (1992) social theory of discourse, the paper examines how the rhetor configures the nullity of the suppressive 'instruments of federal power' on the political will, culture and structure of the Southwest (the then acclaimed political enclave of the opposition in Nigeria's party politics). The paper further examines the rhetor's configuration of the ruling party as being 'reactionary' in contrast to the 'progressive' orientation of the opposition party. In doing so, the resistance discourse celebrates the philosophy of 'Awoism' - the social and political teachings of Obafemi Awolowo about good governance - on which the acclaimed progressive principles of the opposition are anchored. The study reveals that contest for the acquisition and retention of power by the ruling party and the opposition still largely dominates the trajectory of rhetoric in contemporary Nigerian politics as opposed to the increase of rhetoric of social and political commitment whereby enduring ideological formations and sound policy issues define the development of coveted democratic ideals in Africa's political landscape.

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