A RHETORICAL STUDY OF SELECTED 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN MANIFESTOES.
Background to the Study
The 2023 presidential election in Nigeria is a topic of great interest, with various campaign manifestoes offering a rich field for rhetorical analysis. The manifestoes, as public documents, provide insight into the political landscape and the strategies employed by different parties to appeal to the electorate. They are a reflection of the political culture, ideologies, and the socio-economic realities of the country (Adeyanju & Okunade, 2007).
The first aspect of the rhetorical study of these manifestoes is the use of language. The language employed in these documents is often persuasive, aiming to convince the electorate of the viability of the party’s policies and the competency of their candidates (Ojebode, 2011). The use of local languages, pidgin English, and cultural idioms is common, reflecting the multicultural nature of Nigeria and the need to connect with the grassroots. This linguistic strategy is a significant aspect of the rhetorical appeal of these manifestoes (Adegbija, 2004).
Another critical aspect is the content of the manifestoes. They often focus on key issues such as corruption, security, economy, and infrastructural development. The way these issues are framed and presented is a significant part of the rhetorical strategy. For instance, the manifestoes may present these issues as crises that only their party can resolve, thereby creating a sense of urgency and necessity for their election (Omilusi, 2014).
The manifestoes also employ various rhetorical devices such as metaphors, similes, and hyperboles to enhance their persuasive appeal. For example, a party may describe its candidate as a ‘lion’ ready to ‘devour’ the problems plaguing the country, thereby creating a powerful image of strength and determination (Osisanwo, 2003). These rhetorical devices are used to evoke emotions and sway the electorate’s opinion in favor of the party.
The delivery of these manifestoes is also a significant part of their rhetorical appeal. They are often presented at large rallies with much fanfare and spectacle. The use of music, dance, and dramatic performances is common, creating an atmosphere of celebration and optimism. This delivery style enhances the persuasive appeal of the manifestoes and creates a memorable impression on the electorate (Obono, 2012).
The rhetorical study of Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election campaign manifestoes provides valuable insights into the political strategies and cultural dynamics of the country. It reveals the power of language, content, rhetorical devices, and delivery in shaping public opinion and influencing electoral outcomes. However, more research is needed to fully understand the impact of these rhetorical strategies on the electorate’s voting behavior (Adeyanju & Okunade, 2007).
Statement of the Problem
The problem statement for a rhetorical study of Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election campaign manifestoes is a complex one. The first issue is the lack of comprehensive studies that analyze the rhetorical strategies used in these manifestoes. While there are numerous studies on political rhetoric, few focus specifically on Nigeria’s presidential elections (Adeyanju, 2004). This gap in the literature makes it difficult to understand the unique rhetorical strategies used in this context.
Secondly, the role of rhetoric in shaping public opinion and influencing voting behavior in Nigeria is not well understood. According to Omotola (2009), the use of rhetoric in political campaigns can significantly influence the electorate’s perception of candidates. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence to support this claim in the context of Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election.
Thirdly, there is a problem of access to the campaign manifestoes. While some candidates make their manifestoes publicly available, others do not (Omotola, 2009). This lack of transparency makes it difficult to conduct a comprehensive rhetorical analysis of the campaign manifestoes.
Fourthly, the use of local languages and cultural references in the manifestoes presents a challenge for non-Nigerian researchers. According to Adeyanju (2004), understanding the cultural context is crucial for analyzing political rhetoric. However, most studies on political rhetoric are conducted by non-Nigerian researchers, who may not fully understand the cultural nuances.
Fifthly, there is a lack of methodological guidelines for conducting a rhetorical analysis of political manifestoes. While there are general guidelines for rhetorical analysis (Burgchardt, 2005), these may not be applicable to the unique context of Nigeria’s presidential elections.
Lastly, the rapidly changing political landscape in Nigeria presents a challenge for researchers. The strategies used in previous elections may not be applicable to the 2023 election, due to changes in the political climate and the emergence of new political actors (Omotola, 2009). This dynamic nature of politics makes it difficult to predict the rhetorical strategies that will be used in the 2023 election.
Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of the study is to examine a rhetorical study of selected 2023 presidential election campaign manifestoes. The specific objectives of the study are:
- To examine the rhetorical techniques used in the 2023 presidential election campaign manifestoes.
- To understand the impact of these rhetorical strategies on the electorate’s perception and decision-making.
- To identify the common themes and messages conveyed through the campaign manifestoes.
- To evaluate the effectiveness of the rhetorical strategies in achieving the intended goals of the campaign.
The research questions are stated below:
- What rhetorical techniques are used in the 2023 presidential election campaign manifestoes?
- How do these rhetorical strategies impact the electorate’s perception and decision-making?
- What are the common themes and messages conveyed through the campaign manifestoes?
- How effective are the rhetorical strategies in achieving the intended goals of the campaign?
Significance of the Study
Hello! The significance of a rhetorical study of Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election campaign manifestoes cannot be overstated. This study is crucial as it provides an in-depth understanding of the political landscape and the strategies employed by various candidates to sway voters. The manifestoes, being the primary tool for communicating a candidate’s intentions and plans, are a rich source of information. By analyzing these documents, we can gain insights into the key issues that candidates believe are important to the electorate and how they intend to address them.
Secondly, this study is significant as it can reveal the underlying ideologies and philosophies of the candidates and their parties. The language used, the issues highlighted, and the solutions proposed can give us a glimpse into the political ideologies that guide these candidates. This can help voters make informed decisions, as they can align their personal beliefs and values with those of the candidates. It also provides a platform for public discourse and debate, encouraging democratic participation.
Thirdly, a rhetorical study of the campaign manifestoes can expose the use of persuasive techniques and manipulative language. Politicians often use rhetoric to appeal to the emotions of the voters, to create a sense of urgency, or to discredit their opponents. By studying these techniques, we can promote media literacy and critical thinking among the electorate, enabling them to see beyond the surface of political speeches and promises.
Fourthly, this study can serve as a historical record, documenting the political climate and key issues of Nigeria in 2023. Future researchers and historians can use this study to understand the political dynamics of this period. It can also serve as a benchmark for future elections, providing a basis for comparison and analysis of political trends and shifts in public opinion.
Fifthly, the study can contribute to the field of political communication and rhetoric. It can provide valuable data and insights that can be used to develop theories and models of political communication. This can be particularly useful in understanding the unique context of Nigerian politics, which is characterized by a multi-ethnic society, a history of military rule, and a relatively young democracy.
Lastly, the study can have practical implications for political strategists and campaigners. By understanding the effectiveness of different rhetorical strategies, they can craft more compelling and persuasive campaign messages. This can contribute to a more competitive and vibrant political landscape, ultimately strengthening the democratic process in Nigeria.
Scope of the Study
The study examines a rhetorical study of selected 2023 presidential election campaign manifestoes. The study is restricted to the recent Nigeria in election.
Operational Definition of Terms
- Rhetorical Study: This refers to the analysis of how language is used to persuade or influence people. It involves examining the strategies used in communication, such as the choice of words, the structure of arguments, and the use of figurative language, among other things. In the context of a presidential election, a rhetorical study would look at how candidates use language to convince voters to support them.
- Presidential Election: This is a formal decision-making process by which a country’s citizens choose an individual to hold the office of the President. In most cases, these elections occur through voting. The person who receives the most votes is declared the winner and assumes the role of the President for a specified term.
- Campaign Manifestoes: These are public declarations of the intentions, motives, or views of a political candidate or party. They are often used during election campaigns to outline the policies and plans that the candidate or party intends to implement if they are elected. A manifesto typically covers a wide range of issues, including economic policies, social policies, and foreign policies, among others. It serves as a kind of “contract” between the candidate and the voters, outlining what the voters can expect if they choose to support that candidate.
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A RHETORICAL STUDY OF SELECTED 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN MANIFESTOES.