Implicatures of Protest on Environmental Degradation of the Niger Delta in Nnimmo Bassey’s Poetry


  • Anita Erhuvwu Maledo University of Nigeria, Nsukka
  • Goodluck Chinenye Kadiri University of Nigeria, Nsukka


Nnimmo Bassey, Niger Delta poetry, Oil exploration, Cooperative principle, Implicature, Environmental degradation


This paper examines imlicatures of protest on environmental degradation of the Niger Delta in Nnimmo Bassey’s poetry collection, We Thought It Was Oil But It Was Blood. Nnimmo Bassey’s poetry has received scholarly attention from the point of view of literary and linguistic criticisms. However, there is paucity of pragmatic studies in poems from the collection. Significantly, H. P. Grice’s principle of implicature has rarely been applied as an analytical tool to explore the themes of protest and ecological devastation of the Niger Delta region which are the foci of the entire poetry collection. Therefore, this study is an attempt to undertake a pragmatic analysis of selected poems from the collection using H. P. Grice’s Cooperative Principle as a theoretical framework. The thrust of the study is to decipher the extent to which the poet adheres to the conversational maxims of quality, quantity, manner and relation in the projection of protest and the Niger Delta issues in the selected poems. Purposefully, poems which foreground environmental degradation, oil exploration and exploitation and protest which characterise Niger Delta poetry are selected to project how the poet presents, projects and protests the Niger Delta issues. Our findings reveal that the poet’s violation and adherence to Grice’s maxims of Quality, Quantity and Relation are pragmatic tools used to project the messages inherent in the poems.




How to Cite

Maledo , A. E., & Kadiri, G. C. (2024). Implicatures of Protest on Environmental Degradation of the Niger Delta in Nnimmo Bassey’s Poetry. RESEARCH IN PRAGMATICS, 3(3), 113–126. Retrieved from