Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, at the weekend challenged Nigerians to unite against electoral violence, irrespective of their political, religious or ethnic leanings.
Ekweremadu, according to a statement, made the call while being conferred with the honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D) award at the 44th convocation ceremony of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka on Saturday.
The statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media, Uche Anichukwu, also challenged the nation’s higher institutions of learning to rise up to the task of restoring the dignity of man through quality researches that can address the nation’s security and development challenges.
Ekweremadu who recently obtained a PhD in Law from the University of Abuja, canvassed the need for rigorous advocacy to keep the youth away from electoral violence.
He urged well-meaning Nigerians to rise in defence of national interest, against all acts of electoral violence, irrespective of political, ethnic and religious affiliations, saying elections must not be a do-or-die affair.
“Election is not a do-or-die affair. We are worried about the attacks on some political actors by people in parts of the country other than their own. Let us stand together and call the political elites to order. We must admit that elections will come and go, but that this country will remain.
Therefore, we must play politics with every sense of responsibility, ensuring that everybody is accorded his due respect.
“We must also bear in mind that events and utterances that incubate electoral violence start well ahead of elections. We must live with a sense of history and remember that the same tree stump does not trip a wise man twice,” the statement said.
Ekweremadu who is also an alumnus of the University of Nigeria, said the nation was in dire need of the restoration of human dignity.
“Today, human life is cheap, unlike in the days of our fathers. Stealing used to be a taboo. Today, people are kidnapped and armed robbers are on rampage unlike our school days. There are so many churches and mosques today, yet we have more evil. Indeed, there is need for all to rise across religious and ethnic divides to restore the dignity of man,” the statement added.