From inauguration to independence: Analysing Tinubu’s speeches

PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu has delivered his speech to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Day celebration. While this is his first speech delivered on October 1st as a democratically elected president, this is the fourth broadcast to the country by the president since May 29, when he assumed office.

The ICIR reported that the president approved an additional increment of N25,000 to the minimum wage for ‘average workers’ in Nigeria for the next six months. This is part of the efforts of the federal government to cushion the effects of some reforms by his administration. The amount was later reviewed upwards.

However, for this report, The ICIR examined the choice of words of the president in the last four speeches delivered between May 29 to October 1 and how the structures and tone reflect the reality of the country. 

For context, this report will only analyse the Inauguration speech, Democracy Day speech, an address by the president on Nigeria’s economy and Independence Day speech. It is of note to say that Tinubu has delivered other addresses to international countries and summits, but the four speeches listed above are primarily to Nigerians.

The first speech was delivered on May 29 during the inauguration as the elected president of Nigeria. The second speech was delivered to commemorate Nigeria’s Democary Day on June 12. The third speech was delivered to address the economic challenges of the country following the implementation of policies pronounced by the president, while the fourth speech was delivered to commemorate the country’s 63rd Independence Day on October 1st.

Before the country’s general elections on February 25, Tinubu released an 80-page policy document that highlights his agenda and action plans if he was elected as the president. The priority was national security, economic, agriculture, power, oil and gas, transportation, education, healthcare and digital economy.

Others are points on sport, entertainment and culture, youth empowerment and entrepreneurship, women empowerment, social programs, judicial reform, federalism/decentralisation of power and foreign policy. 

Using these 17 agenda points as parameters, this report filtered the speech of the president by basic, reoccurring topics that reflect the current challenges of the country. These topics are insecurity/security, economy/economic, fuel/subsidy, corruption, jobs/employment and agriculture. 

Hover over the bars for details 

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Analysing the speech

The ICIR filtered the four speeches of President Tinubu using two text analysis tools (Online-Utility and Seoscout Textalyser). 

The inauguration speech delivered by the president had  140 sentences with 1,985 words and a readability ease of 54.6 per cent. The speech, according to The ICIR’s report, captured the president’s commitment and reassurance to address issues around the economy, and insecurity, among other lingering challenges.

One of them was the immediate removal of fuel subsidy when he uttered the statement, “fuel subsidy is gone”.

Fourteen days later, the president delivered his second broadcast to commemorate the June 12 Democracy Day. The speech had a 1,444-word count with 57 sentences and a reading ease of 39.3 per cent. By this time, Nigerians have begun to experience the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy on transportation and the price of foodstuffs.

Word countSentencesReading ease
First speech198514054.6%
Second speech14445739.3%
Third speech17579652.4%
Fourth speech13408753.1%
Text analysis of Tinubu’s speech

Tinubu, in his address, promised to invest massively in transportation, power, health, education and other sectors to cushion the pains of Nigerians. He said, “I feel your pain. This is one decision we must bear to save our country from going under and take our resources away from the stranglehold of a few unpatriotic elements.”

On July 31, the president delivered his third speech to address the economic challenges of the country. The broadcast came just a few days after a planned protest by the labour union. The speech had 96 sentences with a word count of 1,757 and a readability ease of 52.4 per cent. The ICIR reported how Tinubu rolled out several plans to ease the hardship in the country. 

To sympathise, Tinubu reiterated, “I understand the hardship you face. I wish there were other ways. But there is not.”

Meanwhile, the speech delivered on October 1st had a 1,340-word count with 87 sentences and a reading ease of 53.1 per cent. Tinubu said the government would make provision for relief packages to ease the impact of rising food prices and transportation and also embark on tax reform. 

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Findings from the speech analysis showed that the only time the president had to speak long was during his inaugural address and the third address on the country’s economic challenges. 

What does this mean?

The founder of Policy Shapers, Ebenezar Wikina, said that from the inauguration speech, the president has seen that any word he says has power. He is becoming careful about how he addresses the country.

While reacting to how the content of the speech actualises the president’s agenda, he said, “There needs to be clarity on issues and what is happening in the economy. There is something called policy appraisal, and there needs to be a measuring mechanism to see what is working or not.”

Also, the Acting Head of Open Government and Institutional Partnership, BudgIT,  Iyanu Bolarinwa, said that the addresses had enacted policies that have been very tough on the public and macroeconomics.




     

     

    He said, “What we hope to see is beyond promises of the federal government. Nigerians are tired of hearing promises, they want to see real actions. The cost of living has increased, and the earning power still remains the same.”

    What has happened amidst all these ‘talks’

    Between May 29 and October 1, The ICIR has documented several developments across the country tied to the agenda of the president. 

    The ICIR had reported on key decisions taken by the president sworn into office after 20 days, the real cost of Tinubu’s economic policies in 50 days in office and 100 days of hitting the ground running

    These decisions, including the devaluation of naira, increased Nigeria’s inflation rate to the highest rate in over a decade. The ICIR also reported the feasibility and its impact on the distribution of palliatives to the public and state government. Within five months, at least 10 palliative schemes were announced by the president and lawmakers.
    Also, on insecurity, The ICIR reported that over 600 people were killed within the first 45 days under the new administration.

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    Kehinde Ogunyale tells stories by using data to hold power into account. You can send him a mail at [email protected] or Twitter: Prof_KennyJames

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    1 COMMENT

    1. Everyone knows and talks about the problems, only few knows the solutions and will to work towards it. The change begins with individual/family…

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