Idea-thievery: A Key Reason Why Nigeria Has Not Developed And Prospered

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No nation, society or people can develop or prosper in today's modern world without science and technology; without inventions and innovations; without creative and leading frontier-edge knowledge; without positive and uplifting ideas. Surely, ideas are things: everything physical or theoretical started from an idea captured and harnessed. Many ideas are creative, and some are destructive: depending on how they are put-to-use. Indeed, humanity has been saved by ideas that are positive and uplifting; humanity has also been decimated and its progress sometimes has been decapitated by harmful ideas. But generally speaking, man (individuals and human society) is shaped by the ideas he (we all) holds.

Progressive societies today are indeed shaped by inventive and creative and innovative ideas. Surely, Philosophers (like Ojih Iyke and Ezeani Godalex in their book: “Welcome to Logic and Philosophy”) firmly asserts:  that “ideas rule the world”. Indeed, they posited further that “ideas and beliefs are the foundation of action”. They summated it, writing that “ideas occupy a commanding position in the day-to-day existence of man (i.e. every human being and society)”.

First, let's therefore define idea! According to The Concise Oxford Dictionary, idea means: conception, plan, thing to be aimed at, created, discovered, etc. According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, idea is defined as: Plan/suggestion; knowledge; aim/intention; how you imagine something to be; belief/opinion; principle; etc.

Digressing a bit further from the definitions above, it means everybody or anybody can conceive, plan, aim at doing or achieving something; create something; discover something; plan to achieve something; have or make or give a suggestion; have, create or acquire knowledge; imagine or have imagination on how things can be or should be; believe in something; have opinion on something; develop or have a principle on something or issue(s); etc.

Now, let's ask ourselves: what are inventive and creative ideas? And what are innovative ideas? To be inventive means: able to create or devise or show originality in devising. To be creative means: inventive or showing imagination, as well as having a routine skill. To be innovative means: making changes, doing something new, different, and better than those that existed before.

All these in mind, it can then be rightly posited or asserted that there are ideas, and there are ideas! There can be creative ideas and there can be creative ideas! There can be inventive ideas, and there can be inventive ideas! Also, there can be just plain and ordinary ideas. And at the worst end of it, there can be disruptive and destructive/harmful ideas. But in all, ideas are ideas; and ideas are things, and all physically felt things emanated or emanates from an idea or ideas. Indeed, every good idea is a product of thinking—useful and imaginative thinking. And like Prof. Ozodi T. Osuji treatises: “thinking is a continuous process; there is no end to discovering useful ideas in all aspects of life”. He (Ozodi T. Osuji) further penned-down that “thinking does not end with (one person). Human beings still think and with their thinking do modify (earlier) conclusions”. And like the Toyota (Japanese) car popular cliché (idiom) asserts: “Good thinking, good products” (meaning: good ideas breed good results). And when these points are summated, it therefore means that ideas through useful and imaginative thinking can emanate from anybody; meaning also, that every living person has one good idea or the other, and can think-out one good idea (product) or the other.

Therefore, why should anybody steal (thieve), wrongly appropriate or misappropriate other people's idea, when they can also think-out an idea for their own good and for the good of society? But to say the least, it is happening in Nigeria: big time! Indeed, in small, medium and bigger proportions; and that is one key reason why the country has not developed or prospered proportionally since her independence years. The holders of societal-uplifting ideas are totally discouraged and seemingly made foolish. True!!!

We (everybody or anybody in this country and earth) are children of one God and He gives us equally in different ways (as Apostle Paul wrote in the Bible and also captured in the New Testament on the Talents given to each servant—person); and wants His name to be glorified through His many children in many different ways. Then, the greatest question is: why then obstruct these glories that God deserves from many of His children when one (or persons or government or private agency) steal ideas He gave and wants to be glorified through them—that is, from many and all His children, without expecting repercussions that will surely follow.

Whether one likes it or not, the worst type of stealing and wickedness is “idea stealing”. What does this mean? It means that when proposals and innovative ideas are sent and discussed with people in government and the private sector (i.e. corridors of power—technocrats or business people), and these proposals and creative ideas are wrongly appropriated (or do we say it rightly: misappropriated) and implemented without proper credit/acknowledgement, and or even paying the original owners of the proposals and ideas, that is stealing (thievery) writ large! It is the worst type of stealing—“stealing even from the spirits” that provided the ideas to the proposer or originator.

Indeed, they (those in high government or private sector offices) many a time also use their offices to steal and misappropriate people's proposals for a better society—materially and mentally (therein acting-out their “idea-thievery mentality”—which is greatly against the noble desire for a better society); and because the original 'conceptors'—the God given owners of the original ideas are not involved in the implementation stages of the stolen proposals and ideas, these worthy ideas that could have uplifted our society and humanity, crash and become un-sustainable and un-maintainable.

To say the least, any nation that allows this scenario to subsist, is ever cursed and never progresses. Why? It is indeed stealing from the spirits and God, who gave the ideas to the bearer of any inventive/innovative/creative idea (remembering that God gives equally to all His children—which we all are, but in different ways—so why steal from the bearer of helpful and society uplifting ideas, knowing full well our God and the spirits dislikes it, and actually punishes transgressors greatly?). Let us stop it in Nigeria forthwith. This writer is a victim and knows how one feels when cheated-out. Indeed, let us stop all kinds of stealing (including pen-robbery—also known as: embezzlement) because our God who owns us all and oversees everything in this world, hates it greatly. It surely comes with great perdition! That is the reason why wise nations give patents and copyrights to their inventive/innovative/creative minds and encourages them as much as they can. True, God dislikes stealing in any form or shape. Indeed, He punishes any person or persons or society that engages in any kind of stealing and its other vices. Therefore, our society must stop all these unwholesome stealing—especially “idea stealing” (as been emphasized here), that has been going-on in our country. We must abandon these negative attitude(s) if we must truly develop and be ranked among nations that count in the modern (or do we say: contemporary) world.

Our conclusion is simple: as a society (country/nation) that wants to develop and prosper—and especially be ranked and respected amongst great nations of the world, we should fully understand that “ideas are things”: they are creative, innovative and innovative; and that we all are given equally but differently—i.e. it is given bountifully to every individual/citizen. Therefore, these different individuals/citizens must be encouraged so that their ideas will be properly harnessed for the good of society and humanity. And most importantly, nobody's idea should be stolen: wrongly appropriated or misappropriated. Doing so, comes with great perdition for the society in general; and therefore, should be utmostly (repeat: utmostly) avoided and discouraged in Nigeria.

Written by Ejike Kingsley Osuji.
[email protected]

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