IDEOLOGY AND MODALITY IN ALL PROGRESSIVE GRAND ALLIANCE (APGA) AND LABOUR PARTY(LP) POLITICAL MANIFESTOS
study examines the linguistic import of the use of modals and nuanced syntax in the manifesto of political parties in Nigeria. In the paper, there is an argument against the frame that language offers an arsenal from whence political parties borrow divergent lexicon in drafting their manifestos. The paper chooses two marginal political parties, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Labour Party (LP) to contend that both mainstream and marginal political parties all rely heavily on the mastery of language in persuading Nigeria’s Electoral College to subscribe to their party programs for Nigeria. The choice of these parties is informed by the fact that they are two of the most popular political parties at the margin who have had representations in the National Assembly and have produced four state governors. The study uses Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as theoretical framework to pinpoint the ideological underpinnings of the modals used by both political parties. The study reveals that modals such as ‘will’, ‘shall’, ‘must’, ‘speed up’, ‘as a matter of urgency’ etc. are used by the politicians in both manifestos for persuasion, obligation, to make promises, demonstrate political will/commitment, and solicit public support as well as manipulate the electorates. The paper provides insights into the peculiar uses of modals in political contexts and avers that modals are not just linguistic elements, but most importantly, ideological tools as demonstrated by how the representatives of the two political parties choose their words. The study finds out that the theme of the manifestos of APGA and LP is anchored on double-barreled sentences with the first type discrediting the incumbent government closely followed by what their own government, if voted, will offer.
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