A Comparative Study of the Discursive Strategies in the Media Interviews of Participants in the January 2012 Fuel Subsidy Removal Crisis in Nigeria.
Keywords:Discursive strategies, Fuel subsidy, Eco-political discourse, Deregulation, Opinionation and defensive rhetorics
AbstractEven though the debate on the deregulation of the downstream sector of Nigerian economy has been on for a while, scholarly works have excluded a comparative study of the media utterances of actors in the eco-political discourse. This paper compares the discursive strategies in the media interviews of participants in the January 2012 crisis on the removal of fuel subsidy in Nigeria with a view to characterising the discourse strategies. The study which draws extensively from the framework of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) examines a total of ten media interviews of government spokespersons and protesters on the rationality, or otherwise, of government’s action. The study shows that government spokespersons deploy opinionation and defensive rhetorics, while protesters utterances are characterised by combat and condemnatory rhetorics. Both parties make use of manipulative persuasion strategies of solidarity and framing. However, blackmail is peculiar to government spokespersons, while threat is common to the protesters.
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