Nigeria is a country of immense natural resources and potential, but the government’s capacity to deliver public goods has generally been weak. It was against this backdrop that Nigeria faced the arrival within its borders of the deadly Ebola virus disease in July 2014. Despite assurances that the Nigerian government was prepared to respond to an outbreak of Ebola, the country was caught unaware and forced to mount an emergency response. Yet despite these serious concerns, the spread of Ebola was successfully contained in Nigeria. This case study seeks to understand why Nigeria’s Ebola response was so successful despite the challenging context. The case study will focus on institutional architecture and political will, taking an exploratory qualitative approach to examine the institutional dynamics and motivations among various stakeholders involved in the country’s response. The aim is to distill lessons that may be applied to other emergency response initiatives, as well as elsewhere in the health sector and in other areas of service delivery. A proactive communication strategy is required to build a broader coalition of support, and demand-side actors such as nongovernmental organizations play a helpful role.