n Journal of Public Administration - Analysing manipulation and misrepresentation in Nigerian political discourse

Volume 54 Number 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767


This article discusses the use of language in Nigerian politics to understand how political discourse is used to (mis)represent politicians. The world over, politicians are known to be proficient in political oration. The article demonstrates how politicians exploit political messages to achieve their political aims. It verifies the assertion that no communication is value-free, and that all politically motivated discourses are heavily laden with hidden meaning. With the use of critical discourse analysis (CDA), thematic analysis of selected Nigerian political rhetoric has been established. Six political speeches produced by former President Goodluck Jonathan (People's Democratic Party) and President Muhammadu Buhari (All Progressives Congress) were analysed. Speeches from the parties revealed striking similarities with regard to the strategies employed by Nigerian politicians to achieve their political objectives. The analysis revealed that Nigerian politicians seek recourse in religion, the state of the nation, alignment with the people, and the demonstration of humility in their political communications.

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