According to President Muhammadu Buhari, the overconfidence of the opposition parties caused them to lose the presidential election on February 25.
Buhari spoke on Thursday at his residence in the State House, where he hosted the Progressive Governors Forum, led by its chairman, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, according to Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.
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.”
During his lengthy remarks, President Buhari also discussed his proposed retirement plan. He stated that after six months at home in Daura, he planned to relocate to Kaduna.
He praised Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai for building the infrastructure that would make life simpler for the state’s residents and for him after he retired.
According to Gov. Bagudu, the visit’s stated goal was to wish the President a “Happy Sallah” and express gratitude for his leadership of the party and the country.
“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.”
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