Former President Goodluck Jonathan says whoever loses in the ongoing election must be willing to accept defeat.
Jonathan said this on Saturday after voting at unit 39, ward 13, Otazi Playground Otuoke, Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa state.
He was accompanied by Patience, his wife, and Ayi, his mother.
The former president said anyone who loses election can come back another time if they think they are “good enough”.
“I can only encourage people that when they lose the elections, they should accept it,” he said.
“If you think you are good enough and you are trusted, you can come back. It has happened in other countries. That is the essence of democracy.
“If you are there as a governor and people misunderstood your policies and vote you out, you should realise that’s the people’s choice. We should be able to elect our leaders in a way that the world will accept them and believe we are doing what is right.”
Jonathan also harped on the need for a peaceful and credible election.
He said if elections are marred with violence, “the wrong people will be elected and there can never be any development in a society governed by the wrong people.”
“For Nigerians, if you want to move this country forward, you must start with decent and credible elections,” he added.
Jonathan, the first incumbent Nigerian president to lose his reelection bid, hours after President Muhammadu Buhari, his then opponent, failed to give a direct response to accepting a result which is not in his favour.
After voting on Saturday, Buhari was asked if he would congratulate the winner if he loses but he said: “I’ll congratulate myself… I’m going to win this election.”
In 2015, Joanthan accepted his fate and congratulated Buhari even before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the official result.