The (Mis) Use of Language in Nigerian Political Campaigns (NPC): Moral Philosophical Perspectives

  • Mark Omorovie Ikeke, PhD Delta State University
Keywords: Language, Nigeria, Politics, Morality, Campaigns
Share Article:


Language is an important instrument of communication in every society. Through it, human beings interact, relate, and forge ahead. Through language, human beings are able to adapt to their environment and make meaning out of life. It can be used for good or for evil. Language can be used properly or it can be abused or misused. This paper examines the use of language in political campaigns in Nigeria. It argues that language is often misused or abused in political campaigns in Nigeria. Language is used to cajole, intimidate, demean and degrade human dignity in Nigeria. Ethically the way language is used in political campaigns in Nigeria is unacceptable. The paper used a critical analytic and hermeneutic method to decipher the issues involved. It finds and concludes that there is a need for politicians to behave morally in their use of language during political campaigns to build a better society.


Download data is not yet available.


Ademilokun, M. (2019). A multimodal discourse analysis of some newspaper political campaign advertisements for Nigeria’s 2015 elections. Abuja, Nigeria: The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Retrieved from

Ademilokun, M. A. (2015). Discursive strategies in selected political rally campaigns of 2011 elections in southwestern Nigeria. International Journal of Society, Culture & Language, 3(1), 120.

Aduradola, R. R., & Ojukwu, C. C. (2013). Language of political campaigns and politics in Nigeria. Canadian Social Science, 9(3), 104-116.

Akinbade, J. A. (2008). Government Explained. Lagos: Macak Book Ventures.

Alike, E. (2015). Nigeria: Soyinka Condemns Use of Crude, Abusive Language by Politicians. Retrieved from

Ako, M. A. (2004). Class in Language Choice and Use in a Nigerian Bilingual Context. Ibadan Journal of Humanistic Studies, 13 &14: 17-32.

Chaturvedi, A. K. (2006). Dictionary of Political Science. New Delhi: Academic India Publishers.

Daniel, I. O. A. (2019). Nigerian Politicians, Linguistic Rascality and the Security Implications. Retrieved from

Ehiakhamen, J. O. (2001). Language and Feminism. Current Viewpoint: A Review of Culture and Society, 3(1 &2), 20-24.

Ezejideaku, E., & Ugwu, E. (2007). The Rhetoric & Propaganda of Political Campaigns in Nigeria. Journal of the Linguistic Association of Nigeria, 10, 9-26.

Hassan, I. (2019). Nigerian political parties are weaponising fake news. Retrieved from

Hassan, S. O. (2006). Language education for reconstruction and empowerment in Nigerian society. Zaria Educator, 2(1): 109-112.

Hobbes, T. (1981). Leviatan, edited by C.B. MacPherson. London Penguin Books.

Igwe, O. (2005). Politics and Globe Dictionary. Aba: Eagle Publishers.

Ikeano, V. N. (2018). The language of our politicians. Retrieved from

Mohammed, A. (2002). Democracy and Language (Ab)Use-Implications for National Development. In Ogude, S. (Eds.), Towards an African Renaissance (p. 99-127). Ibadan: The Nigerian Academy of Letters.

Niworu, S. M. (2008). The Politics of Tenure Elongation: A Renunciation of Democratic Values and Nation Building in Nigeria. In Adeniji, L. A. A. Adeyemo. S & Adeniji, D. R. (Eds.), Nigerian Democracy: The Journey So Far (p. 227-232). Ibadan: Jilat Publishing Company.

Odimegwu, I. (2008). Philosophic Foundations of Politics. Amawbia: Lumos Nigeria Limited.

Odogun, G. (2019). Kogi election: Thugs burn down SDP secretariat. Retrieved from

Ogunsiji, A. (2008). Utilitarian Dimensions of Language in the Multilingual-Multicultural Nigerian Context. In Babawale T. & Ogen, O. (Eds.), Culture and Society in Nigeria (p. 180-199). Lagos: Concepts Publications Limited.

Okolie, A. (2014). Meaning and Nature of Politics.” In Aloysius-Michaels Okolie, Onyemaechi A Eke, and Paul A Areo (Eds.), Politics and Law in Africa, 1-13. Abakaliki: WillyRose and Appleseed Coy.

Omitola, B. O. (2011). Political Parties’ Competition, Electoral Violence and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, 1999- 2009. In Ogundiya, I. S. (Ed.), Political Parties and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria, (p. 232-261). Ibadan: Codat Publications.

Omozuwa, V. E. & Ezejideaku, E. U. C. (2008). A stylistic analysis of the language of political campaigns in Nigeria: Evidence from the 2007 general elections. OGIRISI: a New Journal of African Studies, 5(1), 40-54.

Opeibi, T. (2006). Political Marketing or Political, ‘Macheting’? A Study of Negative Campaigning in Nigerian Political Discourse. In Muhr, R. (Eds), Reproduction and Innovation in Language and Communication in different Language Cultures.

_________. (2008). Language, politics and democratic governance in Nigeria: a sociolinguistic perspective. Journal-Issues in Political Discourse Analysis, 2(2).

Ndimele, R. & Owuamalam, G. (2015). Language Use in Political Advertising- A Rhetorical Discourse on “See Who Wants to Be President of Nigeria. Global Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(8), 19-31.

Ng, S. H., & Deng, F. (2017). Language and power. In Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Communication. Oxford University Press.

Nwolise, O. B. (2012). Elections as Threats to National Security: The Cote d’Ivoire Experience. Nigerian Journal of International Affairs, 37(1), 27-52.

Popova, M. (2018). I and Thou: Philosopher Martin Buber on the Art of Relationship and What Makes Us Real to One Another.

Rousseau, J. J. (1968). The social contract. Trans by Maurice Cranston. Middlesex: Penguin Books.

Szanto G. H. (1978). Theatre and Propaganda. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Taiwo, R., & Oamen, F. (2018). Perspectivation in Nigeria’s Political Visual Communication: A Social Semiotic Analysis. Covenant Journal of Language Studies, 6(2), 1-22.

5 January, 2021
How to Cite
Ikeke, M. (2021). The (Mis) Use of Language in Nigerian Political Campaigns (NPC): Moral Philosophical Perspectives. East African Journal of Arts and Social Sciences, 3(1), 1-11.

Most read articles by the same author(s)