President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said he was confident of victory at next month’s presidential election.
He stated that all that was needed was an extra push by the Presidential Campaign Council and the February 16 poll would become a formality.
Buhari spoke in Abuja at the inaugural meeting of the council. However, All Progressives Congress governors were absent at the meeting.
Buhari said, “I will like to appeal to you to dedicate yourselves once again to the task at hand.
“There is no doubt that victory is ours. But that shouldn’t mean we should rest even for a moment.”
The National Leader of the APC and co-chairman of the council, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; the APC National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole; and the Director-General of the campaign and Minster of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, among others, attended the session.
Buhari had on Tuesday handed over the leadership of the campaign to Tinubu when he inaugurated the council in Abuja.
On Thursday, he reminded the council members that they were the best materials available to the party.
“I urge you to rise to the challenge of the great expectations of this party and Nigerians – and the confidence that I personally have in the ability of all of you to deliver,” Buhari added.
In his speech, Oshiomhole said the state governors were already doing their coordination assignments and were busy in their respective states.
He said, “Don’t forget that elections are not defined in Abuja; it will take place in the 36 states and I am sure there are APC members who are campaigning for the Houses of Assembly, various House of Representatives and Senate constituencies and governorship posts.
“The whole country is Mr President’s constituency, so he will visit each of the 36 states with appropriate messages.
“There is a saying that except you know and remember where you are coming from, you cannot appreciate where you are. Even in the life of a man, those who look at those in their front will never thank God enough, but when you look at your back, then you will appreciate that you have made a lot of progress.
“So, you need to constantly remind Nigerians of what happened in the 16 years of the PDP and what has changed in the past three and half years, and what will change over the next four years if given the mandate to continue and consolidate,” Oshiomole said.
A former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, was also at the meeting.
The former Akwa Ibom State governor spent eight out of the 16 years of the PDP as its governor.
He also won election to the Senate in 2015 on the ticket of the PDP before his defection to the APC last year.
Akpabio said he believed that the PDP had nothing more to offer to Nigerians.
“I will say that APC is poised to win the elections. We have a few weeks to the general elections; first the presidential election – and we are ready.
“The achievements of Mr President are there for people to see and I think the entire country is quite excited, unlike our colleagues in the PDP, who do not seem to have anything except to attempt to run campaigns of calumny and false accusations against us in the APC,” he added.
However, the Peoples Democratic Party said Buhari should prepare for defeat in February.
It said there was nothing on the ground to indicate that the President and the APC would get more votes than PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, who spoke to one of our correspondents, said his party had gained enough acceptance to win the election.
He said, “Instead of thinking that he would win, I would rather ask the President to prepare for the shock that will befall him and his party.
“The PDP will defeat the President even in his home state of Katsina. You can see that everywhere we go, we are well received.
“The President is even afraid to go out and ask for votes. This is because he knows he has disappointed Nigerians.”PUNCH