By Pius Adesanmi
I like it when a reader who genuinely wants abstractions to be broken down into concrete, demonstrable public information takes me to task. I thank the brother who came inbox from Cambodia – Naija, una dey waka sha – and wanted me to elaborate on dignity.
I have been harping a lot on the theme of dignity lately. My thesis has been that the fundamental human dignity of the Nigerian citizen is the first casualty of the irredeemable hubris of the Nigerian state and her officials.
At the local, state, and federal levels, Nigerian officials are so arrogant, so full of themselves, so convinced that they are dispensers of value to unworthy, lowly citizens; that human dignity is not feasible in Nigeria. I thought we were on the same page but the brother from Cambodia sensitised me to the need to be illustrative.
Our ongoing conversation about salaries is a good place to start. AS horrible as it is, non-payment of salaries is not the real location of your indignity. It is only part of the architecture of indignity. Let me tell you a short story.
In my twenty years of life in civilisation, I have only experienced salary delay by a few hours once. This happened so long ago – I believe it was in 1998 – that the details are now a tad hazy in my memory. On payday, the computers go to work automatically at midnight, crediting your account. You wake up to your salary. It is clockwork. It is not something you are conscious of – as routine as…