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CJLS: Vol. 8 No. 1, June 2020

‘We are Committed to the Change Agenda’: Tracking Ideological Strategies in President Buhari’s 2019 Independence Day Speech

  • Temitope Ajayi
June 3, 2020


This study critically examines ideological strategies in President Buhari’s 2019 Independence Day Speech with a view to demonstrating how the speech subtly but pragmatically functions beyond being a yearly ritualistic exercise but equally projecting the Buhari-led administration’s commitment to its ‘change’ agenda. With insights from van Dijk’s (2004) model of Critical Discourse Analysis, relevant excerpts of the speech were purposively selected for analysis in this study. Findings reveal that the speech is characterised by two ideological strategies: positive self-representation and negative other-representation. While the former is deployed to project his administration as people-oriented, the latter is deployed to blame, berate and condemn the past governments in the country. Key words: discourse, critical discourse analysis, ‘Change’ agenda, Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria.