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Synopsis

From Balewa's declaration, 'Today is Independence Day,' to Azikiwe's impassioned plea, 'Let us bind the nation's wound and let us heal the breaches of the past so that in forging our nation there shall emerge on this continent a hate-free, fear-free, and greed-free people,' to Buhari's patriotic fervor, 'This generation [of Nigerians]... have no other country than Nigeria,' to Obasanjo's confident commitment, 'I will not spare any effort in rising to this challenge of building firmly and decisively on our achievements,' and to Yar'Adua's clarion call, 'Let us set aside cynicism... Let us discard the habits of low expectations... Let us join together now,' words by Nigerian leaders invoke common threads that are essential for nationbuilding. In a democracy, words initiate a relationship between leaders and citizens, a relationship deepened by sacred trusts not easily broken. This collection of inaugural and ascension speeches facilitates comparison of presidential themes, leadership styles, personal philosophies, and evolutionary communication strategies in Nigerian nationbuilding. Each chapter opens with biographical notes on the speaker, followed by an introduction to the prevalent political climate, and ends with the leader's unabridged speech.

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