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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday confirmed that while the All Progressives Congress (APC) was working hard to retain power in the last election, the combined opposition was a victim of overconfidence – the main reason he believed they lost.
At the State House headquarters, where he hosted the Progressive Governors Forum chaired by his chairman, Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, the President said: “They were already telling the foreign sponsors that they would defeat the APC. Our party combined confidence and prudence, we worked hard and we won. .
“Now, their overconfidence causes more problems for the opposition than anyone else. They are having a hard time convincing those who protected them from the outside why they can’t defeat us.
“A combination of overconfidence, complacency and bad tactical moves clearly lost him. This has created more problems in their camp. Why haven’t they removed us?”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, the winner of the February 25 election.
He defeated 17 other candidates including Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labor Party (LP).
Five parties and one presidential candidate in the 2019 election are contesting the outcome of the February election.
Responding to an issue raised by Mr. Bagudu, Mr. Buhari said: “One major reason why I congratulate Asiwaju on his victory is because the opposition got support and false hope from outside and it creates the impression that they will win, they will defeat us. How much more wrong could anyone be? ” he asked.
The President charged the governors to stay together and discuss issues openly among themselves.
“Try and keep solving problems. Dare to discuss openly among yourselves. This is the best way to survive politically in Nigeria,” the president said, adding that “you (Governors) have a program to meet regularly and discuss issues and how to sustain the party nationwide.”
Mr. Buhari spoke at length about his proposed retirement, saying he wanted to stay at home in Daura for six months before eventually moving to Kaduna.
He thanked Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State for his retirement and the infrastructure that will make life much better for the people of the state, adding that the governor of Kano did the same.
Mr. Bagudu said the visit was ostensibly to say “Happy Sallah” to the president and to thank him for the leadership he has given the party and the nation.
In their first visit since the elections, they congratulated the president on the party’s victory in the presidential vote, “Congratulations, your party won the presidency, leading the majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives. These successes would not have happened without your help.
“History will remember you fondly. Around the world, elections are being celebrated because of the turmoil in the region and the developing world, all under your leadership. We won with hard work, the same thing you always encouraged us. We are very grateful for everything”, he added.
Apart from Kebbi, governors from Plateau, Imo, Kwara, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kogi, Lagos, Cross Rivers, Jigawa, Katsina, Ogun and Nasarawa states were in attendance.
They were the Deputy Governors of Kano, Gombe, Borno and Ebonyi, as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Major Mustapha.
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