Public Discourses and Engagement on Governance of Covid-19 Response in Ekiti State, Nigeria

Damilola Adegoke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportReportpeer-review


Numerous studies have emerged so far on Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) across different disciplines. There is virtually no facet of human experience and relationships that have not been studied. In Nigeria, these studies include knowledge and attitude, risk perception, public perception of Covid-19 management, e-learning, palliatives, precautionary behaviours etc.,, Studies have also been carried out on public framing of Covid-19 discourses in Nigeria; these have explored both offline and online messaging and issues from the perspectives of citizens towards government’s policy responses such as palliative distributions, social distancing and lockdown. The investigators of these thematic concerns deployed different methodological tools in their studies. These tools include policy evaluations, content analysis, sentiment analysis, discourse analysis, survey questionnaires, focus group discussions, in depth-interviews as well as machine learning., These studies nearly always focus on the national government policy response, with little or no focus on the constituent states. In many of the studies, the researchers work with newspaper articles for analysis of public opinions while others use social media generated contents such as tweets) as sources for analysis of sentiments and opinions. Although there are others who rely on the use of survey questionnaires and other tools outlined above; the limitations of these approaches necessitated the research plan adopted by this study. Most of the social media users in Nigeria are domiciled in cities and their demography comprises the middle class (socio-economic) who are more likely to be literate with access to internet technologies. Hence, the opinions of a majority of the population who are most likely rural dwellers with limited access to internet technologies are very often excluded. This is not in any way to disparage social media content analysis findings; because the opinions expressed by opinion leaders usually represent the larger subset of opinions prevalent in the society. Analysing public perception using questionnaires is also fraught with its challenges, as well as reliance on newspaper articles. A lot of the newspapers and news media organisations in Nigeria are politically hinged; some of them have active politicians and their associates as their proprietors. Getting unbiased opinions from these sources might be difficult. The news articles are also most likely to reflect and amplify official positions through press releases and interviews which usually privilege elite actors. These gaps motivated this collaboration between Ekiti State Government and the African Leadership Centre at King’s College London to embark on research that will primarily assess public perceptions of government leadership response to Covid-19 in Ekiti State. The timeframe of the study covers the first phase of the pandemic in Ekiti State (March/April to August 2020)
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Covid-19
  • Public perception
  • public policy
  • governance
  • leadership
  • descision-making


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