Face-Saving as a Relative Phenomenon in Parliamentary Context: A Study of the Nigerian National Assembly

  • Bassey Ekpenyong
  • Maurice Tabang Bisong


Nigeria is one of the post-colonial countries in the world that is struggling to find political stability in a democratic culture. Amidst the palpable influence of the protracted military rule, the Nigerian Parliament is in constant conflict with decisions seen to be meted out by the Executive arm of government, in the English Language, one of the country’s official languages. While the Executive Arm is controlled by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, the Parliament comprises representatives from at least three political parties across the countries. The Parliamentarians belong to diverse linguistic backgrounds with different cultural indexes in handling situational faces. In the daily parliamentarian deliberations, issues of national integration, distribution of economic amenities and political positions, individual and community empowerment, are negotiated in sometimes very volatile atmosphere exuding immense pragmatic interest. In these contexts, there are possibilities of exposure to personal insult, derogatory remarks, disregard for one’s status to achieve desired goals and damage to valued friendly and political relationships. It was observed that at the end of face-threatening behaviours, faces observed saving or face-honouring processes also occur with due reference to an application of the Parliament Rules Book coded in English, Structured after Universal Pattern but with matters relative to the Nigerian Parliament. Can this reference to Universal Parliamentary Ethics, coded in English but applied by Nigerians from a mix of indigenous languages and linguistic identities said to be really universal? This paper seeks to answer this question.

LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 8(3),230-237, 2011

Author Biography

Bassey Ekpenyong
Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Calabar, Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1813-2227