Ideologies and Impoliteness Strategies in Online Ethno-religious Conflicts among Nigerians

  • Temitope Michael Ajayi Linguistics and African Languages Department, University of Ibadan
  • Ganiu Abisoye Bamgbose University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Keywords: Ethno-religious conflict, van Dijk Critical Discourse Analysis, Culpeper’s Impoliteness theory, Nigeria

Abstract

Nigeria is a multilingual country comprising peoples of different ethnic, political and religious inclinations, hence the incessant ethno-religious conflicts that lace the trajectory of the country. Different scholarly works have examined ethno-religious conflict in the Nigerian space from the religious, sociological, historical and political perspectives. However, little attention has been given to the phenomenon in the country from the linguistic perspective. This study, therefore, drawing inputs from van Dijk’s Critical Discourse Analysis and Culpeper’s Impoliteness Theory, investigates how Nigerians deploy language in engaging in ethno-religious conflicts as evident in their online comments on issues of national interest in the country. Online comments and reactions of Nigerians to four current national issues – Apostle Suleman’s alleged ‘sex scandal’, the Southern Kaduna killings in Kaduna, the Yoruba-Hausa crisis in Ife, Osun State, and the issues surrounding the arrest, detention and clamour for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, a strong agitator for the Biafra State, as reported by three online platforms, Sahara Reporters, Vanguard Newspaper and Nairaland.com are purposively selected as data for this study. The findings of the study reveal elements of they(them) versus we(us) ideology, and different forms of impoliteness strategies permeate the discourse of online ethno-religious conflict among Nigerians. This is a development that portends a bad omen for the continued peace and unity of the country.

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Sources of Data
http://saharareporters.com/2017/03/15/i-stand-apostle-suleman-fayose-says. Accessed
20/3/2017
http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/01/un-wades-s-kaduna-killings-can-replies-council-
imams-youre-hypocrites/ Accessed 20/3/2017

http://www.nairaland.com/3670783/yoruba-hausa-clash-ile-ife-5. Accessed 20/3/2017

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/ipob-warns-continued-detention-nnamdi-kanu/. Accessed 20/3/2017
Published
2019-06-30