Religion in Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Political Discourses
The work is a study on how former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo utilized religious language in his political speeches. Religion is an integral part of a people’s culture which has an inseparable influence on the politics, economy and society in general. Language on the other hand provides the conduit for performance and expression of religion and religiousness; as well as political ideologies. The data consists of Obasanjo’s speeches delivered on 29th May 1999 and 2003. Working within the tenets of Critical Discourse Analysis, the paper interrogates the trajectory in language, religion and politics in Nigeria. It probes into the role of religious references and statement in governance; how socio-religious identities can be negotiated linguistically through induced emotions, and also the patterns and usage of religion by President Obasanjo as a persuasive strategy in political communication. Our findings reveal that such references were utilized to establish affinity with the listeners; appeal to ideological sense; beatify his seat as sacred and to subtly manipulate the listener into agreeing with his ideology.
Key Words: Discourse; Religion; Critical Discourse Analysis; Inaugural Speeches; Political Discourse