‘The Candidates’, an election special town hall meeting for presidential candidates and their running mates was created by Daria Media towards the 2019 General elections to elevate election conversations to issue based conversations. The town hall meetings provided an opportunity for the candidates to interact directly with the electorates and vice-versa.

The program was a departure from the debate format traditionally associated with the Presidential elections, which has proved somewhat controversial in Nigeria and many times, takes place without leading contenders.

‘The Candidates’  formula solved this problem. It put on stage the candidates from a single political party. So there was no head to head debate. Instead, a Presidential Candidate and his running mate sat with a credible moderator who spoke to them about their manifestos, plans and policies for half an hour, after which the candidates took questions from a Townhall audience as well as people at home who participated through social media channels.

With the financial support of The Macarthur Foundation and technical support of the Nigeria Television Authority , ‘The Candidates’ was able to reach millions of Nigerians and stakeholders both in Nigeria and in the diaspora. Presidential candidates who turned down the traditional presidential debates were happy and eager to be on ‘The Candidates’.

‘The Candidates’ was a two-hour programme per edition with the host Kadaria Ahmed moderating the questions and answer sessions from the live audience and from various social media.

Each edition of ‘The Candidates’ was not only broadcast live on the Nigeria Television Authority network stations, the feed was shared with other stations such as Africa Independent Television network stations, Television Continental TVC, Wazobia TV , and Oak TV.

The first edition, aired on the 9th of January 2019 and featured Kingsley Moghalu and running mate Umma Getso of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) between 7 and 9pm

The second edition aired on the 16th of January 2019 and featured Muhammadu Buhari and running mate Yemi Osinbajo of the All Progressive Congress (APC) between 8 and 10 pm

The third town hall meeting featured Omoyele Sowore and running mate Rabiu Ahmed Rufai of the African Action Congress (AAC) on the 23rd of January 2019 between 7- 9 pm

The fourth edition was aired on the 30th of January 2019 and featured Atiku Abubakar and running mate Peter Obi of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) between 8-10pm

Watch all four editions online on dtv.media