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COVID-19 PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN ENFORCEMENT: STRATEGIES OF THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE AND LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE
The Nigerian government mobilisation of the police for the enforcement of COVID-19 pandemicinduced lockdown has redefined police officials’ job prescription in a new fundamental way. Although the Nigeria Police Force routinely maintain law and order during crisis situations, yet, policing citizens’ compliance in the middle of a public health emergency is a relatively novel responsibility for the law enforcement agency. Therefore, this article critically evaluates the operational strategies employed by the Nigeria Police Force for the enforcement of government-imposed movement and social restriction measures. Data were principally sourced through a case study analysis of media and government reports. The paper argued that the overall effectiveness of the operational tactics adopted by the Nigeria Police Force for the special assignment was hampered on many fronts by some institutional and procedural issues. Therefore, the law enforcement agency is urged to strategically build on the COVID19 pandemic experience to better prepare for future public health emergencies.
Key Words: COVID-19 Pandemic, Public Health Emergency, Lockdown, Police Officials,
Nigeria Police Force, Law Enforcement Agency