President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday asserted that while the All Progressive Congress, APC was working hard to retain power in the recent elections, the combined opposition was a victim of over confidence- the main reason why he believed they lost.
Speaking at his residence in the State House where he received the Progressive Governors Forum led by their Chairman, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, the President said: “They 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 over confidence 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?”
Speaking 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 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?” he asked.
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, urging that “you (Governors) have a program to meet regularly and to discuss issues and how to maintain the Party nationwide.”
President Buhari spoke at length about his retirement proposal, saying that he intended to be at home in Daura 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, Atiku Bagudu said the visit was ostensibly to say “Happy Sallah” to the President and to thank him for the leadership he had given to the Party and the nation.
This being their first visit since the elections, they congratulated the President on the Party’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,” he added.
The Governors in attendance in addition to Kebbi were from Plateau, Imo, Kwara, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kogi, Lagos, Cross Rivers , Jigawa, Katsina, Ogun and Nasarawa States.
The Deputy Governors of Kano, Gombe, Borno and Ebonyi were in attendance, as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.