Ngozi U. Emeka-Nwobia is a senior lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki-Nigeria where she also obtained her PhD in Sociolinguistics. She is a Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) Scholar (2015) and has also received other international fellowships and research grants among which include; Postdoctoral fellowship award of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)’s African Humanities Program (AHP), 2016/2017; Social Science Research Council (SSRC)’s Next Generation Social Sciences Research in Africa 2013 Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship Award; and 2014 Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship Award; a collaborative research grant on ‘Language, Literature, Music and Prayer as (re)Sources of African Values, Spirituality and Christian Theology’ funded by the Templeton Foundation under the Nagel Institute of Calvin College, Michigan, USA 2018-2020; among others.
This research seeks to investigate the role of language in construction of leadership in Africa, with specific attention on former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo's political discourse. Language plays a pivotal role as an instrument for communication and a tool for performance of acts, including the act of politics which if not properly utilized can be dangerous to the security and development of a people.. This research utilizes pragmatic theories to explore how linguistic resources are exploited by politicians in marketing their plans, programmes and agenda to the general populace (listeners). An eclectic method shall be adopted in the analysis of collected data principally retrieved from the archive, internet and vox pox of nationals. Language is here situated as a powerful weapon, skilfully deployed by politicians to persuade, influence and manipulate the listening audience who most often are not really sure of what exactly have been said. The work shall provides insight into how one can understand the intention of the speaker from the interpretation of political discourse which has no direct relationship with the additive value of the words of the language.