Adolf Hitler and Nigeria’s Presidential Elections: The bitter lessons

By Dimeji Daniels

Adolf Hitler joined the German Workers’ Party in 1919. The party later metamorphosed into the Nazi party. He was appointed leader of the Party in 1921. At this time, the party already had its own newspaper, a private army (Sturmabteilung SA) and a flag.

All together, Hitler saw to the killing of over 11 million people, among them Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses and homosexuals.

Many would always wonder how Hitler was able to carry out these many atrocities against humanity. There was global economic depression at the time. Businesses and Banks were becoming bankrupt. Life simply had become hard. Hitler swooped in on these factors, blaming unemployment and the bank failures on democratic government. Many Germans turned to Hitler for salvation. He had become their saviour.

Blessed with the gift of the garb, even though what lied under his garb was dictatorship and hatred for many he considered sub-human. He profiled German Jews, who were mainly capitalists, as those feasting on the economy. He made racial cleansing his watchword. His objective was to only absorb ‘pure-blooded’ Aryans into an expanded Germany, the Third Reich.

His followers believed no one but him. No other truth but the truth as presented by the mesmerizing führer. Even the Holy Book in 1Thessalonians 5:21 admonishes Christians to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good”. In similar vein, 1John 4:1 says “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

So, whenever anyone is looking to place the blame for Hitler’s atrocities, look to the millions of everyday citizens who voted his party, the National Socialist German Workers’ (Nazi) Party. Adolf Hitler once said “I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few”.

The politics of Hitler was not different from what we witnessed in Nigeria in the build-up to the 25 February, 2023 presidential election and after the election. Words like “Take back your country” targeted to sway Christian votes in favour of a particular candidate and sermon-like messages , in some instances abuses against candidates of other political parties, from the pulpit remind one of the Hitler period.

How else can one explain the tagging of a tribe as “your people” in the famous ‘Yes Daddy’ audio by a presidential candidate who sought to govern the whole country? Was he saying the people in the Southwest and Kwara are not his people?

It is true that politics is almost always attended by theatrics, but when does it become sickening? Is it when a man who had no path to victory in an election is claiming to have won the same election? Or when protest becomes treason? Section 130 of the Electoral Act 2022 states that “No election and return at an election under this Act shall be
questioned in any manner other than by a petition complaining of an undue
election or undue return (in this Act referred to as an “election petition”)
presented to the competent tribunal or court in accordance with the provisions
of the Constitution or of this Act, and in which the person elected or returned
is joined as a party.”

When does reasoning kick in?

At the moment, reasoning has taken flight, fueled by unchecked partisan emotions of journalists who should know better. If not, why would any group of people visit the Ministry of Defence to clamour for a return to military rule? If not, why would a vice presidential candidate throw caution to the wind in what I would call five minutes of madness to ask for an interim government – the same man who was inaugurated as senator on the platform of the defunct CPC in 2011, but was only removed by the court months after he had enjoyed the benefits of being a senator? Please, when does reasoning kick in?

This idea of a ‘messiah’ who can’t be wrong, always shouting ‘Go and verify it!’ is teetring on the precipice. I remember watching one of his interviews on Arise TV where he claimed MKO Abiola won in the Southeast in 1993 and none of the interviewers corrected him, when in fact Abiola only won in Anambra, but lost the other Southeast states to Bashir Tofa. Many of his followers are so mentally lazy that his words are law and truth to them at all times.

It got so bad that the CJN and the judiciary are being impugned all in a bid to cow them to give a judgement in the favour of their ‘messiah’.

All peace-loving Nigerians must be awake so that the country does not claw back into the uncertain past, such like the darkness-like dictatorship of the Abacha days or the Hitler days in Germany. Everyone knows the place of these two people in history.

‘Dimeji Daniels writes from Akure in Ondo State

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