President Muhammadu Buhari has asserted that opposition parties failed to win the February 25 presidential election because of overconfidence.
According to Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Buhari spoke on Thursday at his residence in the State House, where he received the Progressive Governors Forum, led by its chairman, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State.
Buhari said: “They were already telling their foreign backers they would defeat the APC. Our party blended confidence with caution; we worked hard and won. Their overconfidence is creating more problems for the opposition than anyone else. They find it hard to convince those who supported them from the outside why they cannot beat us.
“A combination of overconfidence, complacency and bad tactical moves made them lose, plain and clear. It has created more problems in their camp. Why did they fail to remove us?”
In response to an issue raised by Governor Bagudu, the leader of the forum, President Buhari said: “An important reason I congratulate Asiwaju on winning is that 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 charged 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,” said the President, who further urged: “You (governors) [should] have a program to meet regularly and to discuss issues and how to maintain the party nationwide.”
President Buhari also spoke at length about his retirement proposal, saying that he intended to be home in Daura for six months before eventually moving to Kaduna.
He lauded Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State for the infrastructure he provided that would make life easier for the people of the state and for him in his retirement.
He equally commended the Governor of Kano State.
Gov Bagudu said the purpose of the visit was ostensibly to say “Happy Sallah” to the President and thank him for his leadership of the party and the nation.
“Congratulations, your party won the Presidency, the majority in the Senate and [is the] the leading party in the House of Representatives. These successes would not have happened without your support,” he said.
Asserting that history will remember the President kindly, Bagudu noted: “We won by sheer hard work, the same thing you have always encouraged us to do. We thank you immensely for everything.”