Impoliteness Strategies in the Facebook Posts of Nigerian Electorate on 2019 Presidential Election in Nigeria

Temitope Michael Ajayi


Studies, particularly in political science and sociology, have examined the deployment of the social media by electorate in different climes to air their views on political matters. However, little attention has been paid to it in the Nigerian context; even when observations have shown that Nigerian electorate deploy the social media to express their opinions on political issues in the country. Thus, from a linguistic perspective, this study, drawing inputs from Culpeper’s impoliteness theory, complemented with textual elements of Mey’s pragmatic acts, investigates the use of impoliteness strategies in Facebook posts/comments of selected Nigerian electorate. Data comprised twelve posts randomly selected from thirty purposively sampled posts screenshot from the Facebook walls of electorate on the candidatures of Buhari and Osibajo, representing the All Progressives Party (APC), and Atiku and Obi, representing the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). The parties and their candidates are the major contestants in the 2019 Presidential Election in Nigeria. Findings reveal Nigerian electorate use different forms of impoliteness strategies, including call the other names, ridicule the other, use of taboo words and associate the other with negative aspects to attack and threaten the faces of these major contestants, as well as their supporters because they are considered as individuals who lack the political expertise and forthrightness to rule Nigeria.


Key words: facebook posts, Nigerian electorate, 2019 presidential election, impoliteness

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