Taiwo Oladeji Adefisoye (PhD), Abolaji Solomon (PhD)


Many fascinating studies have been done since the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent government response actions. Of interest to this paper is the belligerency and activism of the church that resulted in open confrontation and rejection of the government’s safety measures and policies in Nigeria. Although existing works have made attempts to interrogate the response of the church to the pandemic and its effects, the obvious gap is the church’s questioning of the monopoly of the state to regulate behaviour and exercise restraints, through the instrumentality of public policy particularly on religious activities during the pandemic. Methodologically, the paper draws on newspaper reports, audio-visual sermons and publications to achieve its objectives and answer the research questions. The policy network theory was found suitable as the theoretical anchorage for the study. It was found that activism by the church rose significantly due to its perceived alienation from the different COVID-19 management platforms set up by the government. Besides, the conspiracy perspectives, which associated clandestine motives to the pandemic resulting to ban on religious activities and the introduction of the controversial Infectious Disease Control Bill were other factors. The paper posited that the success of a policy is not determined by its sophistication, but the ability of policymakers to recognize critical factors within the policy context, such as formal, informal and primordial groups, that are affected to the policy.


Church activism, public policy, policy implementation, state monopoly, COVID-19, Nigeria.

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