Background of the Study
Language plays an important role in human communication. It is a powerful tool used by political leaders in the discharge of their duties. The role of language in communication cannot be underestimated. The English Language is an indispensable tool for national unity, integration and global communication.
The attention to the ways political actors formulate messages to proclaim their interests or legitimize their position has been central to political discourse analyses. Analysts, especially those oriented to CDA approaches, examine how political messages may be encoded using linguistic strategies of nomination, predication and nominalizations, in some cases to delete or deflect agency, and to make discrete, concrete goals relating to specific social events and practices Machin and Mayr,( 2012). When actors discursively construct messages these ways, they seek to orient an audience to their viewpoints see to accept the perspective of the speaker” . Therefore, language remains a crucial resource in the hands of those whose goal is to sway an audience to accept their position, or gain political influence while critical discourse analyses is particularly motivated by how language use serves ideological goals. Herrick (2017).
This implies that regimes, whether totalitarian or democratic have to communicate so as to inform, persuade, advertise, issue rules and regulations, legislate, and so on Gunta and Karapetjana (2009). Sharndama (2015) gave an insight into political speeches when he affirms that: political speech is associated with either struggle for power or maintenance/control of it. It is diverse because it encompasses the different forms of speeches that the politicians deliver at political forums. Chilton (1998) affirms that politics is “the art of governance and power” while language is “the universal capacity of humans in all societies to communicate”. Okoro C. N (2017) subscribes to this view when she asserts that politics is concerned with power to make decisions, control resources, and control other people’s behaviour and, at times to control their values. In this process, language plays a crucial role, for every political action is prepared, accompanied, influenced and played by language. Language, therefore, plays an important role in politics because its main function in different political situations is to enable politicians to form structurally stable social relationships
The Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari employed language while exercising his authority during the coronavirus pandemic which is shortened as covid-19.
The name “coronavirus” comes from the crown-like projections on their surfaces. “Corona” in Latin means “halo” or “crown.” Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is defined as illness caused by a novel coronavirus now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2; formerly called 2019-nCoV), which was first identified amid an outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. It was initially reported to the WHO on December 31, 2019. On January 30, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global health emergency. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, its first such designation since declaring H1N1 influenza a pandemic in 2009.
At the time of writing this paper, it was observed that the Nigerian president had addressed his nation twice. Buhari addressed the Nigerian state when the world was facing the problem of the virus in March and April 2020. His aim was to notify Nigerians of the virus and the measures the government and the general populace can take to curb its spread.
It is against this background that the researcher embarked on this study to investigate the Discourse Strategy on President Buhari’s Address on the extension of covid’19 pandemic lockdown