A DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN’S SPEECHES DURING NIGERIA’S INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS

A DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN’S SPEECHES DURING NIGERIA’S INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS

ABSTRACT

This research is on discourse analysis of the Independence Day speeches of President Goodluck Jonathan during the celebration of Nigeria’s Independence in 2012, 2013 and 2014. It studies the structure of these speeches, the ideologies of the President reflected through them, their information strength and their contemporary relevance. The work adopts Grice’s co-operative principles, which incorporate the maxims of quantity, quality, relation and manner, for analysing its data.The study observes that the Independence Day speeches of President Goodluck Jonathan are structured into five sections, which include greetings and introduction of the occasion; incorporating every Nigerian as contributing to Nigeria’s history and current status; highlighting the achievements made, the challenges facing Nigeria and efforts being made to handle them; messages of hope and promises and call for collective responsibility; conclusion with compliments.It observes that these five sections fulfil the co-operative maxim of quantity but have some statements which do not fulfil the maxims of quality, relation and manner.The ideological analysis shows that the President gradually realised the extent of his power and autonomy. He prefers collective responsibility of the nation’s affairs. The speeches are contemporarily relevant during their delivery. Finally, the research observes that the speech in 2014 is more informative than that of 2012 and 2013. The research recommends the use of discourse analysis for the President for analysing and assessing his speeches before delivery and that Nigerians should pay attention to the Independence Day speeches in order to take adequate advantage of the information in them.

Keywords: Independence Day, President, speech, discourse analysis, co-operative principle, ideology, contemporary relevance, information strength.