The Psycho-Political Underpinnings of Presidential Speeches: President Buhari’s Three Selected Speeches to Countrymen
Affiliation: Department of Political Science. Ekiti State University, Nigeria.
Keywords: Presidential Speeches, Psycho-Political, Historical Moments, Persuasion
Categories: Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
Given the fact that presidential persuasion is a central feature of presidential power and leadership, this essay explores the persuasive strategies employed by President Buhari in three selected speeches. Although much research has been done on the rhetoric of presidents at crucial moments in Nigeria, most of these studies focused on international affairs or linguistic appraisal rather than domestic socio-political situations. Interestingly, many of the essays on this subject matter are vagaries from columnists and journalists with seemingly partisan disposition. The thrust of this essay, therefore, is premised on the hypothesis that the three speeches were meant to strike the psychological and political minds of the citizenry during the period under review. Do the speeches reflect any ideological preference, espouse grounded policy framework or unravel novel ideas to knotty issues in the polity with a view to assuaging the tension-soaked polity? The methodology for conducting this analysis draws upon Thoemmes and Conway's seminal work on integrative complexity. It similarly advances rhetorical presidency as a theoretical instrument; focusing on a singular regime-presidency in Nigeria as against the usual practice of comparative analysis spanning different regimes.