On January 6th 2019, the first-ever maiden edition of the ReadyToRun TV Show aired on Channels Television. The show, a first of many, was a reminder of what the Ready to Run Movement has always been about: to get competent young people to run successfully as candidates in elections. Presented by Samson Itodo and Fali Hamu, the show’s prominent message was to give the ReadyToRun movement more momentum and coverage, to get young people pushing the narrative of true governance, credibility to run and contest in elections, and most importantly, to finally bring these young candidates to the limelight, for the world to acknowledge and become acquainted with their manifesto and candidacy. In tow, with the 2019 elections around the corner, the ReadyToRun movement has dedicated itself to make sure credibility and sound disposition are key of its candidates in pursuit of office. And now, with the inaugural edition of the ReadyToRun TV show, this goal is made obvious with the appearance of the candidates on national television to extensively talk about their plans, to let the public know what their strategies are, and most of all, to exhibit what the ReadyToRun Movement is about—transparency, vision, insight and credibility.

The show began with the introductions made by Samson Itodo, the Executive Director, YIAGA Africa, who also went ahead to inform on the guests who would be on the show. Also in quick succession was the rundown of the ReadyToRun Lab, one of the segments of the show. Here, Samson Itodo gave the requirements backed by the law/legislature, giving insights on what qualifies a candidate to run for elections; what can get a candidate disqualified and how he/she can lose his candidature.

The next segment consisted of conversations with the young candidates. Twenty-eight years old (28yrs) Rinsola Abiola is running for office of the House of Representatives; Abeokuta North/Odeda/Obafemi Owode, Federal Constituency of Ogun State. The second candidate was Najibullah Umar Tafida, 31, who is also contesting for the office of the House of Representatives, Argungu/Augie Federal Constituency, Kebbi State. With outstanding backgrounds to their portfolios, the two candidates were expected to bring that dexterity to the screen, to speak to the people and show them why, come February, they should head to the polling units to put in their votes for them.

The candidates gave their points and objectives on these issues, with Rinsola Abiola giving her reasons on why she defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) party, and why it is necessary for her to run in the upcoming elections. Most of the points she raised were mainly grounded on the need for development, restructuring and the need for Federal character to be felt in the local constituencies. Najibullah Umar gave his opinion on why (the North) is not necessarily in need for restructuring yet. But he also went ahead to give speak on the issue of funding, stating that he has so far, gotten some goodwill from friends. Rinsola Abiola also gave her answers on the latter; stating that most of her funding has come from even strangers who, even though have never met her before, believed in her message and drive, and donated for the need for the posterity of her campaign. This is one special criteria the ReadyToRun movement strives to ensure; belief can go a long way to empower the campaign of young people to run for office, and enable them become more motivated.

As the show drew its curtains, there was pertinent need to showcase other young candidates who are also running for various offices and who have been registered under the auspice of the ReadytoRun movement. Most of their information were displayed onscreen; some with video coverages to give insights of their plans and what they were contesting for. As the ReadytoRun show drew to its end, the Message of the Week was given out which was thus:

“Only Candidates with Capacity, Competence and Character deserve your votes.”

The Ready to Run show is definitely a first of many, and with more episodes lined up, more exceptional young candidates to portray on the show with their manifestos and plans of why they are running for their respective offices, and other percipient aspects of the programme itself, one can easily say the ReadyToRun show is here to stay, and in time, change the percerption of Nigerians about young people by portraying candidates with integrity, rectitude and foresight.

The ReadyToRun TV show airs on Channels Television every Sunday evening at 6:15pm.




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