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The Role of Editorial Cartoons in the Democratisation Process in Nigeria

A Study of Selected Works of Three Nigerian Cartoonists

by Ganiyu Akinloye Jimoh

eBook PDF

Pub date: 2011
Pages: 86
ISBN-10: 1612337740
ISBN-13: 9781612337746
Categories: CommunicationArt & ArchitecturePolitical Science


Political Cartoons, otherwise known as Editorial Cartoons, are single panels of graphics that are satires of political events. Apart from serving as a corrective measure, they also serve as historical documents and are a 'snapshot' of the political climate of a given period.

Over the years cartoons have shaped public opinions on societal issues that have sometimes resulted in tragedies in the manner in which information is transmitted to the public. In 2005, over 300 people were killed in the Northern part of Nigeria during a religious riot fueled by a Danish Editorial Cartoon publication which satirized the Islamic religious leader, Muhammed. Such occurrences show that cartoons are a formidable force and could serve as mirrors of society.

Cartoons have played a major role in the democratisation process in Nigeria, particularly during the military era. The newspapers are awash with various images depicting the ills in the society. The themes range from corruption, political instability to electoral fraud.

This thesis examines the role played by editorial cartoons in the democratisation process in Nigeria. It focuses on the military era between 1983 and 1999: this period being the last phase of military incursion into Nigerian politics.Thirty published editorial cartoons by three renowned cartoonists--Josy Ajiboye, Adeboye Adegbenro and Akin Onipede--are studied and analysed to establish their roles in documenting what is regarded as the 'Khaki' years of oppression in Nigeria.

The analysis carried out reveals that cartoons played vital role in documenting, critiquing and reflecting social and political issues.