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Hate speech and political media discourse in Nigeria: The case of the Indigenous People of Biafra

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The study adopts approaches in linguistics and critical discourse analysis to interpret media speeches and public statements of the Biafra secessionist movement leader, Nnamdi Kanu, as hate speech. The study shows that hate speech in discourses produced by the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra appears as language aggression, such as insults and verbal attacks, as well as threats. Discourse structures such as the use of interrogation and metaphor also appear in the hate narratives. Compared with the Rwandan case, the study argues that hate speech could result in similar incitement and violence. While hate speech caused genocide in Rwanda, it did not work in Nigeria, largely because of the division among the Biafra campaigners and the Igbo political elite about the Biafra independence campaign.
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Keywords: Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB); Nigeria; Nnamdi Kanu; critical discourse analysis (CDA); hate speech; politics; violence

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 0000000417948359Covenant University 2: 0000000121839444Obafemi Awolowo University

Publication date: June 1, 2020

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  • The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics is committed to analyzing the politics of communication(s) and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those that traverse cultures and nations.
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