British Journal of English Linguistics (BJEL)

EA Journals

Chatham house

Chatham House of Interest and the Discourse of Globalised Political Expressions in Peter Obi’s 2023 Pre-election Speech (Published)

Chatham House, for the reason of its royalty, institutionalism and independence, has become a global beehive and platform where, especially Nigerian political actors articulate their ambitions and policies and prove the mettle of their deservedness for the nation’s helmsman’s job. Extant political discourse studies have largely examined conventional campaign speech-situations with stint considerations for political expressions offered on the postmodern globalised campaign platforms. This study, therefore, investigated Peter Obi’s Chatham House speech (POCHS) with a view to examining the contextually referenced discursive strategies that project Nigerian presidential candidacy as more of offshore interest in the twenty-first century global politics. Martin and White’s Appraisal Theory was used as the framework in analysing the elemental linguistic and non-linguistic strategies deployed in the electronically sourced POCHS. The data, processed into analysable extract-units, were subjected to Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). Mr. Peter Obi’s (PO) unusual employment of attitude-demonstrated ‘affect’, ‘appreciation’ and ‘judgement’ was unique in relating his global audience to virtues and attributes that qualify him for the Nigerian topmost position, presenting him as an unconventional politician. Positive and negative appreciation and judgements were used for personal-self-evaluation, corporate-self-evaluation, ‘others-self-evaluation’, and nation-self-evaluation while the bases for appreciation and judgement were personal and party competence, problems, policy gaps and solutions. PO deployed engagement as monogloss and heterrogloss on top of ‘graduation’ with intensifiers and quantifiers as force that projected ‘focus’, ‘emphasis’ and ‘analogies’. Thus, globalised political context influenced PO’s exploitation of the rarely available global platforms (Chatham House) to articulate his political ambition and manifesto. Language is, therefore, revealed as dynamic force for presentation and evaluation of persons, problems, policies and panaceas that are capable of endearing him to the expectation of the audience at Chatham House, pointing to Nigerian presidency as a phenomenon of 21st century’s global interest.

Keywords: Appraisal, Chatham house, Nigerian 2023 election, political campaign speech, political discourse platform

A Critical Stylistic Study of Peter Obi’s Campaign Speech Delivered at Chatham House (Published)

This paper is a critical stylistic analysis of Peter Obi’s presidential campaign speech that he delivered at Chatham House in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2023. Critical stylistics provides the reader or listener with ten analytical tools to make use of in carrying out critical analysis of texts for the main purpose of identifying the meanings and ideologies inherent in such texts. The aim of this work then is to investigate some of the meanings and ideologies which Peter Obi passes on to his listeners through lexical choice as well as sentence pattern and construction using three of the ten tools put forward by Jeffries (2010) for investigating the various meanings in texts. The three tools selected are: naming and describing, prioritising and equating and contrasting. Findings reveal that though all the excerpts bring out different meanings that are relevant to the text, however, the ideology behind them that serves as the foundation for all the interpretations is that of positive self presentation and negative “Other” presentation.

Keywords: Chatham house, critical stylistics, negative “other” presentation, peter obi, positive self-presentation, prioritising

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