Religious othering in Nigeria’s electoral discourse: Towards a critical religious tolerance

Godswill Uchechukwu Chigbu (Corresponding Author), Sopuruchi Christian Aboh, John Ganaah

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Religion is a main characteristic of Nigerian identity and influences the algorithm of its public life. The study explores online religious othering in Nigeria’s electoral discourse. The study utilises a critical discourse analytic approach and examines a dataset of over 14,000 Facebook comments from Nigerians from different religious groups. The analysis revealed that religious othering in the electoral discourse was indexed using three major strategies, namely: demonisation, ingroup ostracisation and stereotyping. The study demonstrates, among others, an emergent intra-religious discord in the online electoral discourse, mainly among the Christian group. Members who displayed favouritism to an outgroup cause, in this case, the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket, are framed as Other. They are denied the membership of being a Christian. The study concludes with imperative advocacy for the cultivation of critical religious tolerance, a model and practice for engendering a respectful and inclusive political environment beyond religious affiliations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
JournalDiscourse and Society
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Critical religious tolerance
  • demonisation
  • electoral discourse
  • ingroup ostracisation
  • othering
  • religion
  • stereotyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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