“I am concerned as a democrat”: Rhetoric, ideology and power in Olusegun Obasanjo’s open letters

Author1

Fawunmi, Mayowa

Affiliation

Department of English, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, 220005, Nigeria

Affiliation

Department of English, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, 220005, Nigeria

Abstract

Ideology is a critical notion in discourse because language is ideologically driven and discourse does ideological work. Open political correspondence, a genre of political discourse is one of the ways leadership is sensitized to political accountability. Understanding such letters demands investigating the underlying beliefs, knowledge, attitudes, ideologies, values, and social norms that play out in their production. This study is a critical discourse investigation of the rhetoric of Olusegun Obasanjo’s open letters “Before it is too late” and “Points for Concern and Action” to show how ideological meaning and expressions of power are constructed in them. The study reveals that in his bid to speak to the Nigerian leadership, legitimize his position and achieve his persuasive goal, Obasanjo constructed himself as a populist, amplifying the voice of the people through positive self and negative Other representations. The prominent ideological strategies he engaged in his letters, which are deeply rooted in the social structure of the country, are Actor Description, Authorization, Evidentiality, Comparison, Illustration, Implication, Lexicalization, Populism and Metaphorization.

Keywords

ideology; power; open letters; ideological discourse analysis; Obasanjo; socio-political context

Publication Date

June 28, 2021

Issue

Volume 8, Issue 1

Citation information

Fawunmi, Mayowa, and ‘Rotimi Taiwo. 2021. “‘I am concerned as a democrat’: Rhetoric, ideology and power in Olusegun Obasanjo’s open letters.” Language. Text. Society 8 (1). https://ltsj.online/2021-08-1-fawunmi-taiwo.

BibTeX

@Article{Fawunmi2021,
author = {Fawunmi, Mayowa and Rotimi Taiwo},
journal = {Language. Text. Society},
title = {“I am concerned as a democrat”: Rhetoric, ideology and power in Olusegun Obasanjo’s open letters},
year = {2021},
issn = {2687-0487},
number = {1},
volume = {8},
url = {https://ltsj.online/2021-08-1-fawunmi-taiwo},
}

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