ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND THE ACQUISITION OF POLITICAL POWER IN NIGERIA: THE 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN PERSPECTIVE

Abdulmalik Adamu, Moses Joseph

Abstract


Language and politics contract a special relationship; language is specific to man and so is politics which man uses to control and dominate his environment. Language has always been a significant factor in Nigerian politics because of its role in critical domains of politics like electioneering campaigns. Language is an instrument used to shape or influence political institutions such as the legislature. The executive as well as the judiciary which are also very important political institutions have benefitted greatly from the inputs of language. Consequently this paper was premised on the assumption that language, particularly, English played a significant role in the acquisition of political power in Nigeria. This is against the backdrop of the victory of the opposition party in the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria. The corpus generated for this study consisted of excerpts from the media exchange between the spokespersons of the two dominant political parties at the time of the elections in 2015; Olisa Metuh of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Lai Mohammed of the All Progressive Party (APC). The excerpts were analysed using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as a research tool. The findings revealed that although language, particularly English played a significant role in the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria, such role did not significantly affect the outcome of the election.

 

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language, politics, power, manipulation, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)

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References


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