The Language of Conflict Resolution: A Critical Discourse Analysis of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Concession Speech


  • Aliyu Yakubu Yusuf Department of English and Literary Studies


Language, conflict, election, concession speech


This paper aims to analyze the Concession Speech given by former Nigerian president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, when he lost the general election in 2015 and its resultant effect in precluding possible political instability in Nigeria. The speech is believed to be a turning point in the history of the country and has helped to mitigate what increasingly looked like a potential political conflict. The data for this study constitute some selected sentences from the concession speech delivered on 31st March 2017 by the then Nigerian President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Through the use of a purposive sampling procedure, the generated data were annotated using the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). The paper discovers that the concession speech contributed immensely in averting possible political conflict in the country. This is so because prior to the President delivering the speech, the general atmosphere in the country was that of tension and uncertainty. There was unmistakable fear that conflicts could breakout if the election results were somehow manipulated and contrived. Thus, the concession speech shows that language can be used to bring a lasting resolution to any existential or potential conflict. 

Author Biography

Aliyu Yakubu Yusuf, Department of English and Literary Studies

Bayero University, Kano



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How to Cite

Yakubu Yusuf, A. . (2018). The Language of Conflict Resolution: A Critical Discourse Analysis of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Concession Speech. Journal of The Linguistic Association of Nigeria, 21(3), 23–34. Retrieved from