n African Journal of Rhetoric - Lexicomania and phrase-mongering in Nigeria : the case of Obahiagbon

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1998-2054


There has been a variety of debates on the place of complex grammatical expressions and rhetoric in legislative discourses in the polity. In Nigeria, history is replete with examples of serving and former parliamentarians that have employed the use of complex rhetorical styles in communicating and addressing their colleagues in the legislature. Using the 'Participationist' and the 'Deliberationist' Schools of thought as framework for analysis, the paper interrogates the extent to which the usage of complex and sometime near incomprehensible elocution by Patrick Obahiagbon, a former member of Nigeria's House of Representatives, attempts to convey his message to members of the legislature and the public. The paper also draws from some excerpts derived from his speeches, and argues that the main essence of communication should be its ability to convey meaning in the simplest way possible; and submits that where there is a missing link between the message and its delivery, the purpose of such communication stands defeated. The paper concludes by recommending a balance of idea and understanding between the 'sender' and the 'receiver' of the message.

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