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Vol. 3 No. 2: December, 2015

A Discourse Analysis of Goodluck Jonathan’s Response to the Kidnapping of the Chibok Girls

  • Yunana Ahmed
  • Monday Bello Eje
February 26, 2016


This paper analyses former President Goodluck Jonathan‘s speech in
response to the kidnap of the Chibok girls in Borno State on April 15
2014. The paper
adopts Fairclough and Fairclough‘s (2012) approach to the analysis of political
discourse. This model of analysis incorporates critical discourse analysis with the
analytical framework of argumentation theory based on the view that political discourse
is primarily argumentative. The findings reveal that Jonathan‘s silence for security
reasons were persuasive but normatively deficient; some of his arguments were drawn
from dominant ideologies that favour the interest of his government, such as blaming
the problem of Boko Haram on economic disparity as opposed to the inability of the
government to win the fight against the extremists. The paper concludes that politics
and political realities are largely influenced by language since it is through language
that most political situations are evoked and experienced.