A Critical Discourse Analysis of Peter Obi’s Speech at The Platform Nigeria by Dr. S. C. Joe


On October 1st, 2016, Peter Obi delivered a highly impactful speech entitled “Cutting the Cost of Governance in Nigeria” during a programme called The Platform Nigeria, organized by the Covenant Christian Centre. Obi’s speech rapidly gained widespread attention on various social media platforms and became the subject of extensive debate and scrutiny by legacy media. This study conducted a discourse-as-text level analysis of the speech, utilizing Norman Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) approach. The analysis focused on identifying and evaluating the rhetorical devices employed by the speaker to persuade and influence his audience regarding the possibility of reducing administrative costs in Nigeria. The findings revealed the presence of five distinct rhetorical devices, including anecdote, hypophora, anaphora, repetition, and allusion. The anecdotes used were entertaining and illustrative and served as persuasive tools, allowing the speaker to bond with his audience. The hypophoras enabled the speaker to transition smoothly through his address while affording opportunities for positive self-presentation. The anaphoras, on the other hand, helped to capture and maintain the audience’s attention, creating rhythm and cadence throughout the speech. Finally, the repetition and allusion devices allowed the speaker to emphasize his stance on the possibility of administrative cutbacks and further reinforce solidarity and identity with his audience. In addition, the study highlights the significant contribution of political discourse in shaping political ideology and language as a strategic political tool.

Keywords: Peter Obi, rhetorical devices, The Platform Nigeria, Obidients, Elanhub

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