The history of novel Coronavirus can be traced back to December 2019 when China notified the World Health Organization (WHO) it was dealing with some suspicious cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei. The situation was soon established to be a novel Corona virus that was then labeled “COVID-19” on the account of its uniqueness. The disease spread exponentially around the world to the extent that as at February 24 2020, there were 81,000 confirmed cases in over 28 countries. WHO had to declare the outbreak of COVID-19 as a global public health emergency requiring collective attention (Kandel et al 2020:1047). The first case of the disease in Sub Saharan Africa was confirmed in Lagos State on the 27th of February 2020. The index case was an Italian contractor in Nigeria returning to the country from Milan, Italy on the 25th of February 2020 (Maclean and Dahir 2020). He was tracked down, hospitalized and luckily recovered from the disease. Since then several other cases have been discovered around the country.
As it is the rest of the world, Nigerian leaders framed the pandemic in peace and security terms by describing it as a war. Such a sentiment is expressly or indirectly evident in the speeches delivered on the pandemic by President Muhammadu Buhari, State Governors, members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 set up by the federal government and the officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). All of these people regularly use the term “health security”, “war” and “defeat”, “fight”, and “battle the pandemic” in their statements. President Buhari delivered two national Speeches addressing the nation on the pandemic.