President Muhammadu Buhari is confident that his All Progressives Congress (APC) will be victorious in the forthcoming general elections.

Despite his confidence, the president urged the party's Presidential Campaign Council to work hard to maximise the scale of victory.

He said, "Even though we are confident of winning, I urge you to work as hard as you can so that we can maximize the scale and extent of our victory.

"I urge you to rise to the challenge of the great expectations this party and Nigerians have for you – and the confidence that I personally have in the ability of all of you to deliver."

He made the appeal during the council's inaugural meeting at the Presidential Villa on Thursday, January 10, 2019.

The president said the individuals in the council are the best the party has to offer and expressed his confidence in them to overcome any opponent.

"Needless to add, your selection was not easy, because in forming this council, the party settled only for the best.

"You are the cream of the party and I assure you that with unity of purpose and effective harmony and communication, there is no political opponent you cannot overcome," he said.

L-R: APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi at the inaugural meeting of the APC Presidential Campaign Council [Facebook/Femi Adesina]

During the meeting, Buhari presented documents containing the proposal on the structure and operational modalities of the council and directorates for the 2019 election.

He urged members to read the documents and make observations to improve the party's performances in the general elections.

During the inauguration of the council on Monday, January 7, Buhari announced that APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, would take full charge of the campaign as co-chairman.

He said his decision to take a backseat as chairman of the council was to ensure that the nation's governance does not suffer during the campaign period.

"Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, my co-chairman, will be fully in charge, and is going to be on 24-hour vigil," he said.

2019 presidential race

Buhari, 76, is seeking re-election at the February 16 presidential election with Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) his biggest opponent.

They face competition from other candidates including Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP)Obiageli Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN)Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC).

Others are Tope Fasua of the Abundance Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP)Eunice Atuejide of the National Interest Party (NIP)Adesina Fagbenro-Byron of the Kowa Party (KP)Chike Ukaegbu of the Advanced Allied Party (AAP)Hamza Al-Mustapha of the People's Party of Nigeria (PPN)Obadiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and many more.

79 candidates will contest in the election, the highest number ever in Nigeria's electoral history.