Gabriel Akhabue Iruobe

Ebelle witnessed, yet again, another round of celebrations as Judges who played a vital role in the approval, installation and commissioning of the Magistrate Court, Ebelle, were gloriously and glamorously honoured by HRM Ambassador Aikpaogie (I), the Ogiebelle of Ebelle and the Ogienedese of Esanland. Those that received the award are Hon. Justice Morrison Ighodalo of the High Court in Benin City, Hon. Justice Mary Nekpen Asemota of the High Court of Justice, Benin City; Hon Justice Victor Oziengbe Oviawe of the High Court in Benin City, and Barr. Sunday Osawalu Agwinede of the S.O. Agwinede’s Chambers, Benin City.HRH Aikpaogie (I) J.P.; Ogiebelle of Ebelle

They all appreciated the honour bequeathed to them and urged the Ebelle people to intensify prayers as forerunner to meaningful development, “because prayers cannot be too much”.


Societies, all over the world, have their separate ways of adorning and adoring their distinguished personalities and landmark achievers. Many have developed several award types and categories; from major awards to simple appreciations. In the past, persons were merely appreciated and saluted for noble work done to humanity or segments of society. But due to civilization and the movement away from collectivism to individualism, more efforts are made at recognising those with a special grace and of special benefits to society, not just a general shower of praise for people’s efforts. Likewise, some awards have had to be celebrated by both the awarder institution/personalities and the awardee (with their respective families and friends) thereby raising the level of commitment to the ideal. Thus, it is not a mere aggregation of people for some nonchalant activity, the scope of invitation notwithstanding.


In the corporate world of business and career, appreciations have transcended mere lib rhetoric and pleasant commentaries. It has become intertwined with offer of money, plaques, gift item, foodstuff, cars or houses as a way for ingraining the idea of a deep appreciation of the few persons, among the lot, who may have come out meritoriously in what has been considered selfless, far reaching and humanistic. In the same vein, Ebelle, having come of age, have now developed its Reward System that seeks to take inventory of people’s contribution and reward them appropriately beyond utterances or prayers.

In traditional societies, those that have been considered due for similar awards of excellence or commitment of a people’s cause, were often given chieftaincy titles to mark their relevance in social affairs and to announce their dependability in local governance and community cohesion. Thus, the chieftaincy was potentially a symbol of truthfulness, trustworthiness, fairness, equity, dependability, altruism and resourcefulness. Thus, a Chief symbolized all or some of the notable values as crucial personality dispositions. It is the height of self-respect, hard work and discipline that has risen, for the individual, to the level of inscrutable and unquestionable character that is being exhumed from shackles of doubts and oblivion and celebrated openly.

However, most recognitions at the local and traditional levels ended with just the conferment of titles. But the challenge with Institutional Recognition Models of a non-traditional type (industries and corporate organizations) have compelled a paradigm shift ; thoughts that deviate from past ways of doing things, which now expands the horizon of due acknowledgement for smarter and more receptive organizations and cultures. The advantages of this is that people now gets recognized in various and diverse ways and given awards/honours; from mere shaking of hands, to offer of gifts, to offer of titles and to share of power. Pharaoh of Egypt recognized JOSEPH and shared powers with him. This was an honour done to Joseph, and by extension, the Israelites. Honour could get to that level. Certain efforts of the most patritic individuals or groups could also be trivialized and unrewarded. It is pitiful to experience this; but human errors do emerge in certain circumstances of a historical deficiency. The jinx of giving honour to persons only by a conferment of chieftaincy titles therefore has been rendered obsolete by the innovation introduced into traditional governance by HRM Ambassador Aikpaogie (I), the Ogiebelle of Ebelle and Ogienedese of Esanland in its maiden award/recognition/honour series.

As the precedent of a Royal Recognition not necessarily tied to chieftaincy is begun, the chances that more people will get that recognition is high. The gates of honour has been widened. The terrains of brotherly kindness expressions, community service and professionalism dint has been expanded. This should encourage more people to work hard for their community knowing fully well that, one way or the other, they will be appreciated for such acts of kindness and patriotism by the very populace that is being served conscientiously through the watchful eyes of Community Ambassadors. Therefore, the innovation brings to the fore an encompassing approach to commendations and corporate compliments.

Perhaps, Odionwelhes should also take a cue from the Highness and reward deserving quarter patriots. They may not have plaques; they certainly must have the ancestral handshakes sandwiched with ancestral prayers. Who dares the representatives of the gods! The bottom-line is that people needs to be appreciated to get the best out of them. Those who are on the side-line to observe may be motivated to join the train of progress. Ebelle belongs to all of us. We must participate in its development. Like they say; ‘when two or three rats join their tails, it often gets as big as that of a giant-rat. Seize all opportunities to be great for yourselves, and with it, move Ebelle forward. This is not the time to pull anyone down; if at all we seek what to do, it must be about how to lift a fellow up.


Our Highness deserves some accolades. The Chiefs too that have supported him have a share of the success. All the glory must be to the Lord. Truly, Ebelle has woken up. The spiritual cloud have been lifted. It is affecting everything; infrastructure, motivation, innovation and space in the scheme of things. Who says it is not good to repent and follow God. Forward ever; backward never again!

The honouring of the Judges of both the Customary Court and the High Court on Ebelle soil on the 7th of March, 2020, is a divine revelation of a road to Eldorado – unending episodes of rewards and awards. It was not only the judges of the courts that were honoured. A barrister also came into the list showing that what was begun have the ability to trickle down the social ladder and go round. In fact, in the words of HRM, “this is just the beginning; more are coming”. People should be observant therefore to know who is next to quality for any category of the awards/honour. This also suggests that every efforts being made to bring Ebelle into a new pedestal socially and culturally have certain inexhaustible reward opportunities. Thus, the Highness does not need to rack his brain for appropriate rewards since there are numerous ways to show these appreciations for good work.
There was a mass movement of the Ebelle Consultative Forum members from Benin City to Ebelle soil to witness the occasion. Members of the Ologhe Inner Club were also represented to felicitate with their own. The atmosphere was spectacular as attendees witnessed the birth of a new order of honouring persons that show enough responsibility toward their fatherland. People think that HRM Aikpaogie is very lucky to have zealous people like the ones being honoured. Others think that HRM Aikpaogie is simply blessed. Whichever school you belong; the handwriting on the wall is that God has made His face to shine upon Ebelle. The story has gone beyond us. Our neighbouring community now tell it. We must keep the solidarity. We must keep the spirituality. God bless Ebelle.

About Gabriel Iruobe

I have a background in Sociology from the University of Ibadan. Although, an industrial sociologist, my interest in rural societies have grown over the years. The sociological insight gained in my school days have had me define development in a fashion slightly different from an orthodox orientation. Studying or researching on rural life is quite easy for me since I spent my early life in a rural setting, viewing all the attractions often overlooked by the urban elites. If the rule of sustainable development is to be followed, no aspect of the world's cultural heritage is to be ignore or neglected. This is my obsession.

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