n African Journal of Rhetoric - Deconstructing discursive manipulation in Nigerian political visual discourse : the case of the People’s Democratic Party

Volume 11 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1998-2054


This paper examines the deconstruction of discursive manipulation in Nigerian political visual discourse, with special focus on a major political party – the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Using Multimodal Discourse Analysis (MDA), the main objective is to investigate and analyse the graphic representations used in Nigerian political discourse as a way of deconstructing tactical misrepresentation and manipulative rhetoric in political discourse which is often a strategy employed in attracting voters. Lexical items, phrases, sentence constructions, texts, and symbols are also examined, alongside visuals, with the aim of understanding the contextual nature of the analysed campaign materials. The intention is to examine manipulative instances in the Nigerian political arena in the analysed materials. Through a purposive sampling strategy, a total of 12 selected campaign materials were collected across strategic places in Nigeria. The researchers focused on the data collected from the year 2010-2018. The collected data are analysed and thematically grouped. Findings reveal that politicians use different discursive strategies, among which the use of fiction; considering the state of the nation; as well as patronising the issues of service delivery, are included. The conclusion is that visual materials are powerful and capable of manipulating the minds of prospective voters.

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