Overconfidence and poor tactical moves led to the failure of the opposition to defeat the ruling party in the February 25 presidential election, President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday.
Besides, the President explained that the All Progressives Congress (APC) got its act together by employing cautious confidence and hard work to retain power, won by President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He defeated Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).
The President criticised the PDP and LP for relying on external backers.
Speaking to APC governors during a visit to his residence at Aso Villa, he said: “They were already telling their foreign backers that they would defeat the APC.”
He added: 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.”
Speaking further on the election, the President added: “An important reason I congratulate Asiwaju (Tinubu) 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?” he asked.
He charged the Progressive Governors to stick together and openly address issues among themselves.
“Try and keep solving problems. Be courageous to discuss them openly among yourselves. This is the best way to survive politically in Nigeria,” said the President.
He urged that to “have a programme to meet regularly and to discuss issues and how to maintain the party nationwide.”
The governors also met with Tinubu and Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima at the President-elect’s residence, where he urged them to remain on the same page with the party leadership in the plan for the election of the principal officers of the National Assembly.
Buhari to spend retirement in Kaduna
On his retirement plan, President Buhari said he intended to be at his home town Daura (Katsina State) for six months before moving eventually to Kaduna, where he will be staying.
He thanked Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai for the infrastructure he has provided to make life easy for him in retirement.
He explained that Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had equally done the same thing, but he did not elaborate on it.
Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, said the visit was to say “Happy Sallah” to the President and to thank him for the leadership he had given to the party and the nation.
He congratulated the President on the party’s victory in the Presidential election, saying: “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.”
Governors in attendance are Simon Lalong (Plateau), Hope Uzodimma (Imo), AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq (Kwara), Biodun Oyebanji (Ekiti), El-Rufai (Kaduna), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Ben Ayade (Cross River), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Aminu Masari (Katsina), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa).
Deputy governors of Kano, Gombe, Borno and Ebonyi also attended the meeting as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.