Impoliteness Strategies in Political Discourse: A Study of Nigeria's President’s Campaign Speech


  • Josephine Omonigho Akporokah
  • Jane Ifechelobi


impoliteness strategies, political speech, election, presidential candidate, campaign


This research seeks to investigate certain impoliteness strategies employed by Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in his political speech delivered at his campaign in Anambra State. Some researches, Ifechelobi and Okpokiri (2018), Ajayi (2020), have been dedicated towards investigating political speeches, but not enough researches have been dedicated towards investigating political speeches for instances of impoliteness strategies. The dearth of research in this area of pragmatics necessitated the current research as it strives to fill this gap in knowledge. The youth in Nigeria have raised an outcry about the president-elect’s political speeches, so this research decided to investigate these claims using the campaign speech he delivered in Anambra State. The president’s campaign speech at Anambra State formed the data for the study. The speech was downloaded via YouTube, and a transcript of the speech was produced using a hands-free device. This is a qualitative research, hence textual data were analysed using Culpeper’s Impoliteness theory, which is the theoretical framework for the study. This study seeks to establish that the political speech is replete with impoliteness strategies which were aimed at attacking the face of his political opponents in the presidential election. Findings revealed that the president employed Bald-on record impoliteness strategy, Positive impoliteness strategy and Negative impoliteness strategy in his speech. Negative impoliteness strategy was employed as a campaign strategy, because the strategies were conspicuously used to attack the face of his opponents in opposition parties while he reeled out his political achievements accomplished while he served as the governor of Lagos State. The research concludes that the president, in his speech, presented the opposition as liars, wicked and corrupt politicians, who are not sensitive to the plight of the people and do not have the interest of the people at heart. All these are strategies which are goal oriented. They are geared towards achieving face loss of his opponents in a situation where face is highly relevant.




How to Cite

Akporokah, J. O., & Ifechelobi, J. (2023). Impoliteness Strategies in Political Discourse: A Study of Nigeria’s President’s Campaign Speech. AWKA JOURNAL OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERARY STUDIES, 10(1), 224–245. Retrieved from