The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Thursday, in Abuja, said while the All Progressives Congress worked hard to retain power in the 2023 general elections, opposition political parties lost due to overconfidence.
He also argued that a blend of overconfidence, complacency and poor tactical moves cost the opposition their desired victory and sank them into a post-election crisis.
“Our party blended confidence with caution, we worked hard and won. Now, their overconfidence is creating more problems for the opposition than anyone else,” Buhari said when he received members of the Progressive Governors Forum led by their Chairman, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, at his official residence in the State House, Abuja.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement titled ‘President Buhari: the opposition was a victim of overconfidence in last elections’ made available to journalists on Thursday.
The statement quoted the President as saying, “They (the opposition) 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 overconfidence is creating more problems for the opposition than anyone else. They are finding it hard to convince those who supported them from the outside why they are unable to beat us.
“A combination of overconfidence, 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?”
In his response to an issue raised by Bagudu, the President 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?”
“Try and keep solving problems. Be courageous to discuss them openly among yourselves.
“This is the best way to survive politically in Nigeria. You (governors) have a programme to meet regularly and to discuss issues and how to maintain the party nationwide,” he said.
He restated his retirement plans, noting that he intends to remain in his Daura home for six months before moving 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 better, adding that the Governor of Kano had equally done the same.
The major opposition parties in the country include the Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party.
Bagudu said the governors were at the Villa on a Sallah visit to the President to thank him for showing leadership to the party and the nation.
Being their first visit since the elections, they congratulated the President on the APC’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 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.”
The governors in attendance included Simon Lalong of Plateau, Hope Uzodimma of Imo, AbdulRahman AbdulRazak of Kwara, Abiodun Oyebanji of Ekiti, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Ben Ayade of Cross River, Abubakar Mohammed of Jigawa, Aminu Masari of Katsina, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun and Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa States.