Opeibi, Tunde. 2008. “Language, Politics and Democratic Governance in Nigeria: A Sociolinguistic Perspective.” In Issues in Political Discourse Analysis, edited by S Obeng. Vol. 2. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

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Abstract: "It is a fact that within the last six decades, the third world nations haveexperienced a reconfiguration of their traditional systems of politics and governancesociocultural formations and practices, and socioeconomic structures following theircontact with the West. Unfortunately, one major aspect of the impact of this contact that is yet to produce positive effects is the role of political communication in stabilizing democratic governance. While issues that are not language-relate—such as an overambitious military, loosely defined federalism, and a weak political partysystem—have been treated as constituting barriers to the establishment and sustenance of viable democratic governance in Nigeria, the role of political communication in developing a strong tradition of democratic practices has been overlooked. This article investigates the role of political communication in stabilizing democratic governance by exploring and clarifying the interrelationships among language, politics, and governance. The interplay of political communication anddemocratic processes in the multilingual Nigerian context is particularly explored to highlight the different roles of the interacting languages. It is argued that the dominance of an exogenous language over other numerous indigenous languages may portend grave implications for the young democratic governance in this third-world polity. Therefore, the search for linguistic equilibrium in the linguistic situation in the present Nigerian democracy requires more efforts and commitmentfrom the political class than the present academic debates on language policy and planning."

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August 8, 2018 - 2:43am

Critical Commentary

AO: This 2008 article by Tunde Opeibi looks at the role of political communication in stabilizing democratic governance by exploring and clarifying the interrelationships among language, politics, and governance in Nigeria.