Investigating Engagement Strategies in the Presidential Media Debate of the 2023 General Election in Nigeria


    This study examines the engagement strategies used by the three leading Presidential candidates during the media debate of the 2023 general election in Nigeria. Drawing on appraisal theory, the study analyses the language used by the candidates in negotiating their interpersonal positioning and convincing the listeners. The data was obtained from the interviews conducted by the Nigerian Economy Summit Group (NESG) titled ‘Dialogue with Presidential Candidates on Nigerian Economy’ on January 13th and 16th, 2023. The study employs a descriptive survey to identify the engagement strategies used by the candidates to evaluate the economic situation and other issues in Nigeria. The findings reveal that the candidates deployed various engagement strategies including proclaiming, denying, and describing objects of appraisal. The study highlights the importance of politicians using appropriate language and communication strategies to engage the public effectively during media discourse. The study’s outcomes will contribute to the existing literature on political communication and engagement strategies, and provide useful insights for political candidates and campaign terms.

    Keywords: Media discourse, appraisal theory, language use, politics, speakers/listeners


    author/Abubakar, M.T. & Omowunmi, O.O.

    journal/Tasambo JLLC | 15 May 2023 |  P. 89-97