By Friday Idachaba.
A language expert and university don, Prof. Gbenga Solomon Ibileye, has tasked Nigerians on the need to have better understanding of language used by politicians during electioneering campaigns in order to avoid being deceived.
Ibileye made the call in his lecture titled: “As A Man Thinks In His Heart, So He Speaks To His World” at the 6th Inaugural Lecture at the Federal University, Lokoja.
Ibileye, a Professor of Discourse Analysis and Pragmatics, emphasised the need for a linguistic reorientation that would engender deeper sensitivity towards the use of more society-developing and nation-building metaphors by Nigerian politicians.
The dean of post-graduate studies at the university also drew attention of his audience to the use of language, especially by politicians to hide and disguise their true political intentions.
He argued that failure of politicians could be attributed partly to the insensitivity of the followership to pay sufficient attention to the language used political campaigns.
Ibileye further posited that believing politicians’ speeches on sentiments without scrutinising them from a critical linguistic perspective would often lead to a superficial understanding of the real deceptive intentions of the political class.
He called on the citizens to strive towards possessing some knowledge of the workings of language as a powerful tool of deception.
He also called on the print and electronic media to engage critical discourse analysts and pragmatists more to interrogate and scrutinise the campaign promises and manifestos of political parties and office seekers.
This, according to him, will ensure that the electorate are properly guided in their choices.
Speaking earlier, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, congratulated Ibileye and described him as a five-star professor who had impacted very well on the institution.
Akinwumi said Ibileye’s lecture was the first to come from the Faculty of Arts and urged other professors in the institution to key into the programme, saying that inaugural lectures remained one of the key prerequisites for attainment of professorship
The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the lecture was attended by renowned members of the academia from various universities, students, judges, traditional rulers, friends and well-wishers of the professor from across the country.