This paper describes a comparative discourse analysis of two inaugural speeches of the immediate past president and his successor. This study compares the two inaugural speeches of  Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and President Mohammadu Buhari.

      This research work looks into a political and critical analysis of power and ideology in the two inaugural speeches. It entails a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis for thorough and complete analysis. The ideological analysis was first carried out and then the power analysis also

The study also analyses in view of comparing both the power and ideological cues in the two inaugural speeches of the two presidents concerned.



INTRODUCTION1.0    Background to Study

Language has a dimension that cuts across the world (Crystal 1997). It can be seen as a system and as a universal tool for communication. This means Language can be said to mean the only way man relates and functions as a social being. Every discourse is constructed on language, as discourses are produced through language. Johnstone (2008) opines that discourse contemporarily means actual instances of communicative action in the medium of language. Discourse is also a continuous stretch of spoken or written language larger than a sentence, often constituting a coherent unit (Pustey, 2006). One of the approaches to the study of discourse that reveal language as a social phenomenon is Critical Discourse Analysis.The scholars of Critical Discourse Analysis generally assume that (non-linguistic) social practices complement one another and focus on investigating how societal power relations are established and reinforced through language use (Fairclough and Holes, 1995). Critical Discourse Analysis is therefore an aspect of Discourse Analysis that deals with the important issues of the society such as; political, cultural, religious, and economic issues. In view of Rogers (2004:2), it is “not only a description and interpretation of discourses in a social context, but also offers an explanation of how discourses work”. Political Discourse is one of the major forms in which Critical Discourse Analysis can be carried out as can be asserted from Van Dijk(2003:352) that Critical Discourse Analysis is a type of discourse analytical research that primarily studies the way power, abuse, dominance, inequality are enacted, reproduced and resisted by text and talk in the societal and political context. Political context can be said to be the societal element from which political discourses emerged. Political Discourse is simply defined as politically inclined text or talk of professional, politicians, or political institutions, written for specific political purposes to achieve specific political goals. The core aspects of Political Discourse that will be considered in this research work are POWER and IDEOLOGY. Politics is one domain in a society where ideologies are rife and common. Teun Van Dijk(2000) opines that even though political discourse may express group ideologies and other beliefs, many of its forms are produced by individual speakers, and the way they personalize the group beliefs underlay the more peculiar properties of political discourse. A paradigm of this can be seen in the inaugural speeches of two out of all the democratically elected presidents of Nigeria; President Goodluck Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari. Power cues are evident in the inaugural speeches of the Ex-President and the present President. Power is the ability to influence and guide the course and outcome of events and the exercise of power is seen as native to human beings. Power can be denoted from the perspectives of a “conceptual” theoretician and a strict “operationalist” Dahl (1956) ‘The Concept of Power’. There are the likes of Gender Power, Coercive Power, and Referent Power, and so on.One major concern of this long essay is to do a ‘Comparative Discourse Analysis’ of Power and Ideology. This method of analysis was originally developed for use in grounded theory methodology but is now more widely applied as a method of analysis in qualitative research(DOI:htp:/ Comparative analysis will be carried out on the inaugural speeches of President Mohammadu Buhari and Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.President Mohammadu Buhari is the current president of Nigeria. He is a native of Daura, Katsina, and was born on December 17, 1942. He joined the army in the year 1962and became the governor of the North-Eastern State during the regime of General Murtala Mohammed. He was later appointed Minister or Federal Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources during the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo in 1976. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was created in 1977 and he was made the head. On December 31, 1983, there was a coup d’etat that removed civilian President Shehu Shagari and put Major-General Mohammadu Buhari in Power. He contested for Presidency as a civilian with All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) in 2003, 2007 April Presidential polls; with Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in April 2011 and lost in all these attempts. Fate smiled, and his refusal to be deterred by his previous failures won him the victory in March 2015 (Retrieved from  The Ex-President whose inaugural speech would also be used in this research work is Goodluck Jonathan. He is a native of Otueke, Bayelsa State, and was born on November 17, 1957.  He earned a B.Sc in Zoology (1981), an M.Sc in hydrobiology and fisheries Biology (1985), and a Ph.D. in Zoology(1995) from the University of Port-Harcourt. He taught at Rivers State College of Education from 1983 to 1993. He served as an assistant director at the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission from 1993 till 1998. His political career began when he became involved in the nascent People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the late 1990s. He was elected deputy governor of Bayelsa in 1999 and became the governor after the incumbent was charged with corruption and impeached. He was selected to be the vice president to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Aduaand they were elected in May 2007. On February 9, he constitutionally assumed power and was fully asserted to replace President Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010. This background information was retrieved from backgrounds of the two distinguished Presidents can be said to reveal how their ideologies and beliefs could have been shaped and formed as revealed in the two speeches. The comparison of their inaugural speeches will help us reveal these various interesting beliefs expressed in form of ideology and power which affected the society and will yet affect it.

1.1Statement of Research ProblemA number of works have been done in the area of Discourse and Critical Discourse Analysis of speeches generally but less attention has been paid to how Comparative Discourse Analysis of inaugural speeches of Buhari and Jonathan and the notions of Power and Ideology are projected in it. This research work will focus mainly on analyzing the notions of Power and Ideology projected in the inaugural speeches of President Mohammadu Buhari and President Goodluck Jonathan by comparison. These speeches will be analyzed with a view to unveiling the power cues and ideological bias as accounted and projected by linguistic components of the discourse. The use of language as peculiar to the two speeches will be analyzed.

1.2    Aim and ObjectivesThe aim of this research work is to investigate the enactment of power and ideological backbone in the inaugural speeches of President Mohammadu Buhari and Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. Thus, the specific objectives are to:a. analyze the two inaugural speeches,b.    highlight the ideological cues and Power plays in the two speeches, andc.    do a comparative Critical Discourse Analysis of the two inaugural speeches with a view to reflecting on the notions of Power and Ideology which are concealed in it.1.3 Research QuestionsThis study will attempt to answer the following questions:a.    What are the instances in which power and ideologically constructed expressions are made in the two speeches?b.    Are there differences in the use of language as regards reflecting Power and Ideology in the two speeches?c.    What are the implications of the difference, politically and linguistically?

1.4Significance of StudyThis research seeks to unveil and elucidate the notions of power and ideology in the two inaugural speeches. By this study, the importance of power relations and ideology in the comprehension of the two speeches will be established.

1.5    Scope of StudyThe focus of this work will be on the inaugural speeches of President Muhammadu Buhari and President Goodluck Jonathan that have been retrieved from an online source. The two speeches by the two Political leaders will be the data for analysis in this study. The justification for this is that in carrying out a comprehensive analysis of these selected speeches, the two political texts will convincingly produce an image of Power and ideology by the President and the Ex-President.1.7 Expected Contribution to KnowledgeThrough this research work, a detailed comparative discourse analysis of the two inaugural speeches of President Buhari and Ex-president Jonathan will be analyzed and the difference in the ideology of President Mohammadu Buhari as opposed to that of Goodluck Jonathan, which has been neglected by some scholars, will be reflected. This study will focus on the differences with a view to bringing out the uniqueness of each person, paying attention to the military aspect of President Buhari’s background.



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