Self-praise, other-assault: representations in selected political campaign songs in southwestern Nigeria
Keywords:political campaign songs, positive self-representation, negative other-representation, assaulting jingles, discourse analysis
Politicians in Nigeria and across the world use political campaign songs to create awareness about their personalities, intentions, and programme in order to convince the electorate to fully support their candidacy. Existing scholarly works on politics and political issues have examined aspects of political speeches, electoral discourses, media reportage of elections, electoral violence in Nigeria, among others. There is, however, a dearth of work on the use of campaign songs to Self-praise and Other-assault among political rivals. This study, therefore, examines political campaign songs in southwestern Nigeria with a view to identifying the representations in the campaign songs. For data, the YouTube Channel was visited in order to retrieve the transcript of political campaign jingles used during the 2011, 2015 and 2019 general elections in Nigeria. The selected period witnessed numerous assaulting campaign jingles in the political history of Nigeria. The data were subjected to discourse analysis, guided by the van Dijk’s ideological square model of critical discourse analysis. The identified representations are both positive and negative – Self as messiah, anointed, superior, symbol of success; and Other as invalid, criminal-minded, poverty-destined, symbol of hunger, prodigal, and enemy. The representations confirm our argument that Nigerian politicians, and others like them, go to any extent to praise themselves and denigrate their political opponents to the electorate because they are mindful of doing whatever it takes to get to power at all costs. The identified structure of verbal assault in political campaign jingles creates awareness on the intention of politicians in denigrating their political rivals and applauding Self. Current kind of political campaign jingles contributes to electoral violence in Nigeria.
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