President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday declared that the opposition created the impression that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was an incompetent political party that put the country in a mess.
He also said that he was desperately looking forward to handing over on Monday.
Buhari spoke at the launch of a book, “A promise kept, a compendium of significant achievements of the Muhammadu Buhari administration 2015-2023,” at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Buhari said: “I assure you, I have been counting the days, I am looking forward to Monday very desperately. I will use the weekend to sign some of the papers so that from Eagles Square, I will fly to Kaduna and eventually go to Daura.”
The president assured that the APC has achieved its set objective as a political party, noting that the last elections were transparent as people voted their choice candidates.
Buhari said citizens were not influenced by money judging by the outcome of the exercise where serving governors and lawmakers lost their bids for re-election.
He said: “I think the achievement we wanted is to develope a firm political culture.
“I think I was expecting too much. When I was in Doha, meeting some heads of states, I was getting calls from Europe, America and Nigeria, congratulating us on the success of elections.
“The opposition has created the impression outside the country that we are going into a mess because we have incompetent leadership of the party.
“They were overwhelmed that the election came and went and both at the center and at the states, fantastic.
“How can 10 sitting governors of states lose their constituencies, this has been unprecedented.
“So, I congratulate you the national working committee and others here, that we have really proved that democracy is worth defending.
“Nigerians have understood it now, otherwise how can they vote against their sitting governors, stopping them from going to the senate to rest.
“So, they were really overwhelmed and I congratulate our political development. Please congratulate your constituencies. It means that even though you have excess money, they will collect it and put in their pockets but they will elect the person they trust from any constituency, either House of Assembly, House of Representatives, Senate until it comes to the president itself.
Because, it was so transparent, everything was done there in front of everybody. And committee by committee from various constituencies lined up and picked the candidate they wanted.
“So, really, we have virtually politically arrived. I congratulate our party.”
The president reiterated that he was eager to leave office and return to Daura, assuring that he would use the weekend to sign outstanding papers.
While wishing the president-elect, Bola Tinubu and his vice, Kashim Shettima, best of luck, he added: “I said his vice president is experienced, a two time governor in his state and then the senate. And this is how we got the chairman of our party, two time governor in his state and also he has been in the senate.
“So, they are people that are really from the bottom of the system to the top. When you get experienced people to be in charge, taking important decisions, they will always reflect on their experiences and they can hardly go wrong. So, I congratulate you and our party.”
The president described the presentation of the book as a surprise, noting that he would have time to read some books “not just about myself but about other issues.”