By Miftaudeen Raji
An aspirant for Ede Federal Constituency in the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Osun State, Muslihudeen Adekilekun Tijani, has defected to the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), amidst fury over what he described as undue treatment of aspirants by the leadership of the ruling APC.
Tijani, while addressing a press conference in Ede, Saturday, said he decided to leave APC because of the refusal of the leadership to give a level playing ground to all aspirants as well as the imposition of candidates on political aspirants.
The aggrieved aspirant said he had been expressing his interest to contest for the House of Representatives seat in Ede, since 2011.
According to him, “APC has never for once conducted a primary election to choose candidates as demanded by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Instead, the party leaders prefer to impose their “anointed candidate” on others in the name of consensus.
He said he has not benefited anything despite his donation and contribution to the party.
Tijani accused the screening committee of bias, saying keeping the result of exercise and announcement of an anointed candidate is “embarrassing and disgusting.”
“APC, particularly in Edeland, operates like a cult. It has become a party that encourages bribery over loyalty, prefers godfatherism to popularity/acceptability, honours and lords new-comers over faithful members and goes for manipulation instead of integrity.
“The party, over the years, has always welcomed and positioned people of questionable character, whose traits are contrary to her principles of equity and fairness.
“Since it is now as clear as daylight that the leadership of the party in Edeland is hell-bent on denying me the opportunity to offer a quality representation to my esteemed constituency, I was left with no option but to seek an alternative political party where I will have the opportunity to prove my mettle against their anointed candidate in the general election,” he said.
Speaking on the his choice of the NNPP, Tijani said he is much satisfied with the trust and integrity that NNPP upholds has a party, adding that the party would help him achieve his goal.
Meanwhile, Tijani has vowed that he would pull out his political structure, which he said he has built with his name, Adekilekun.
“I have a structure which I have used for the AC, ACN and APC. We are very strong in the four local governments of Ede North, Ede South, Egbedoro and Ejigbo local government.
“We discussed with our people and everybody agreed that we should move. So, we have formidable followers and structures that can win elections,” he said.