Politics and Promises: A Multimodal Social Semiotic Interpretation of Political Party Emblems and Slogans as Discourse of Hope in a Democratic Nigeria

Politics and Promises: A Multimodal Social Semiotic Interpretation of Political Party Emblems and Slogans as Discourse of Hope in a Democratic Nigeria

Ikenna Kamalu (University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0081-0.ch006
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Abstract

Working within the framework of Multimodal Discourse Analysis (MDA) and critical metaphor analysis (CMA), this study examines the emblems and slogans of the four main political parties in Nigeria: the People's Democratic Party (PDP); the All Progressives Congress (APC); the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); and the Labour Party (LP), which have become instruments of campaign and propaganda. While the emblems/logos are visual (iconic) representations of party ideology, the slogans are verbal rhetorical affirmations of what the emblems represent. Based on insights from the theory of multimodality, this study is an attempt to use a social semiotic approach in the interpretation of visual communication. Multimodality understands visual as representation and communication. The approach that this study adopts tries to interpret how the multiple modes in multimodal communication yield themselves to different levels of meaning realization.
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Historical Context Of Nigeria’S Political Democracy

Nigeria has had four attempts at democracy since independence in 1960. Political democracy in the first republic – 1960-1966 was organized along sectional or ethno-religious lines. Political parties made no pretences regarding their supreme allegiance to regional and religious interests. The three dominant political parties in the first republic represented the interests of the three major ethnic groups that held sway in the three (later four) regions in the country The Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) in the Northern region represented the interests of the mainly Hausa/Fulani group; The National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) in the Eastern region represented that of the dominant Igbo ethnic group; while the Action Group (AG) in the Western region catered for the interests of the Yoruba. The creation of the Mid-Western region in 1964 was politically motivated. It was undertaken to cater for the interests of the minority ethnic groups said to be under the hegemonic dominance of the Yoruba. Surprisingly, such gesture was not extended to the minority groups in the Northern and Eastern regions. In the true sense of the word, none of the political parties was national in orientation. They made it clear that regional interests supersede that of national. The massive corruption, inter-group conflicts, mismanagement of the economy and electoral violence that characterized the period necessitated the January 15 1966 military intervention.

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