2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS: Overconfidence, complacency killed Atiku, Obi, others – Buhari


  • Claims opposition got support, false hope from foreign backers

  • Says APC blended confidence with caution
  • Uba Group

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, declared that the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi and other 15 presidential candidates that took part in the just-concluded general elections deservedly lost because of over confidence, complacency and bad tactical moves.

According to the President, while the All Progressives Congress was working hard to retain power in the recent elections, the combined opposition was a victim of over confidence- the main reason he believed they lost.

Speaking at his residence in the State House where he received the Progressive Governors Forum led by the 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?”

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,” the President said, urging governors to meet regularly 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 also done the same.

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.”

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 States were in attendance, as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

The candidate of Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, Bola Tinubu, won the February 25 presidential election.

Tinubu defeated 17 other candidates who took part in the election. He scored a total of 8,794,726 votes, the highest of all the candidates, thus meeting the first constitutional requirement to be declared the winner.


He also scored over 25 per cent of the votes cast in 30 states, more than the 24 states constitutionally required.

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, who announced the final results in the early hours of March 1, in Abuja, said Atiku Abubakar of the PDP came second in the election.

Atiku polled a total of 6,984,520 votes in the election.

Peter Obi of the Labour Party came third in the election with a total of 6,101,533 votes while Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP came fourth with 1,496,687 votes.

Only the top four candidates won the presidential election in at least one state.

Tinubu, Atiku and Obi won in 12 states while Kwankwaso won only in Kano State.

Tinubu won the election in Rivers, Borno, Jigawa, Zamfara, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo and Ogun States.

Atiku won in Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kaduna, Gombe, Yobe, Bauchi, Adamawa and Taraba states. He also won in Osun, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa States.

Obi won in Edo, Cross River, Delta, Lagos, FCT, Plateau, Imo, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Anambra, Abia and Enugu States.

Kwankwaso won in only Kano State.