“If indeed this is the will of the Ekiti people”
A discursive critique of a concession speech
Based on the idea that the quality of a democracy may be measured against the quality of its public communication, this paper deploys Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to investigate a Nigerian gubernatorial concession speech in discursive terms. It argues that as an uncommon genre in political discourse in an emerging democracy this hybridised speech both indexes a growing culture of ‘fair competition’ in Nigeria’s eighteen-year-old civilian rule and presents the incumbent as a deft political actor who strategically claims political capital. The paper examines the text’s generic structure, the political and other actors mentioned or implied in it, its manipulation of pronominal references for rhetorical effect, as well as the epistemic uncertainty implied by a query-concession sequence noticed in it. Drawing on the concession speech literature, the paper charts a course for studying the concession speech as an emerging genre in a neonatal democracy like Nigeria.
Keywords: Ekiti, critical discourse analysis, discursive critique, neonatal democracy, concession speech, epistemic uncertainty, political capital, generic hybridity
Published online: 08 December 2017
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