The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Thursday, in Abuja, said while the All Progressive Congress worked hard to retain power in the 2023 general elections, the combined opposition lost due to overconfidence.
He also argued that a blend of overconfidence, complacency and poor tactical moves cost the opposition their desired victory and sank them into a post-election crisis.
Buhari said this when he received members of the Progressive Governors Forum led by their Chairman, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, at his residence in the State House, Abuja.
“Our party blended confidence with caution, we worked hard and won. Now, their overconfidence is creating more problems for the opposition than anyone else,” he said.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement he signed on Thursday titled ‘President Buhari: opposition was victim of over confidence in last elections.’
According to the President “They (the opposition) were already telling their foreign backers that they would defeat the APC. Our party blended confidence with caution, we worked hard and won.
“Now, their overconfidence is creating more problems for the opposition than anyone else. They are finding it hard to convince those who supported them from outside why they are unable to beat us.
“A combination of over confidence, complacency and bad tactical moves made them lose, plain and clear. This has created more problems in their camp. Why did they fail to remove us?”
In his response to an issue raised by Governor Bagudu, the leader of the Forum, Buhari said, “An important reason I congratulate Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) on winning is because the opposition got support and false hope from outside and went on to create the impression that they will win, that they will defeat us. How more wrong could anyone be?”
The President urged the Progressive Governors to stick together and openly address issues among themselves.
“Try and keep solving problems. Be courageous to discuss them openly between yourselves.
“This is the best way to survive politically in Nigeria. You (Governors) have a program to meet regularly and to discuss issues and how to maintain the Party nationwide,” he said.
He rehashed his retirement plans noting that he intends to remain in his Daura home for six months before moving eventually to Kaduna.
He thanked Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State for the infrastructure he has provided that would make life for his retirement and that of the people of the state much better, adding that the Governor of Kano had equally done the same.
The Chairman, Bagudu, said the governors were at the Villa to on a ‘Happy Sallah’ visit to the President and to thank him for showing leadership to the party and the nation.
Being their first visit since the elections, they congratulated the President on the APC’s victory in the presidential polls, saying, “Congratulations, your party won the presidency, a majority in the Senate and for being the leading party in the House of Representatives.
“These successes would not have happened without your support. History will remember you kindly. Around the world, the election is being celebrated because of the turbulence in the region and in the developing world, all courtesy of your leadership.
“We won by sheer hard work, the same thing you have always encouraged us to do. We thank you immensely for everything.”
The state governors in attendance include Simon Lalong of Plateau, Hope Uzodinma of Imo, AbdulRahman AbdulRaza of Kwara, Abiodun Oyebanji of Ekiti, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Ben Ayade of Cross River, Abubakar Mohammed of Jigawa, Aminu Masari of Katsina, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun and Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa.
The Deputy Governors of Kano, Gombe, Borno and Ebonyi were also in attendance, as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.