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Harnessing The Resource Base of Ebelle Land For the Development of Ebelle.

Harnessing The Resource Base of Ebelle Land For the Development of Ebelle.

By
_Gabriel Akhabue Iruobe_
(Paper 4) February, 2022.

The resource base of any society is what determines the levels of improvements that can be expected at any time for that community. Thus, the developmental successes attained at anytime is often a function of the extent and quality of the resource base.
Resource base is both tangible and intangible. Some elements of it are dormant while others are active. Every society of the world has its peculiar resource base that marks it out. It is the gift of nature for such a society. Failure to harness it brings the people under the crushing and excruciating effect of poverty and misery.

Nigeria and other countries that are able to produce oil know the benefit of a resource base that is functionally relevant and indispensable. Overhead expenses depends on it just as it is of capital projects. Salaries are paid from it just like projects are executed with it.
It is foolhardy therefore to contemplate the severance of any society from its resource base. It can only be wise to harness them for the improvement of lives and livelihood. Just like the nation has its resource base controlled by legislations and executive orders, smaller communities also have a resource base they have exclusivity to. This brings me to the question of the resource base of the Ebelle people. Have we harnessed it or jettisoned it with our attitudes and shortsightedness? Do we really know what we have as a people? Or, are we like Esau, selling our birthright on the alter of a plate of porridge? We are not here talking about the unholy alliances of politicians with their godfathers selling their people for personal aggrandizements whilst watching their constituency burn with deprivation, hunger and starvation. That is food for another day. But today, let’s examine the naivety in forsaking heaven’s provision for a community’s self-fufilment and blossoming economy. Some radical groups are emerging by the day standing in the defense of Ebelle and have also learnt to seek help anywhere under a survival mentality and self-determination criterion. Thus, we must be careful still so as not to turn an Oliver Twist, always asking for more, without accounting for what we’ve got, in the first place.

But what are resources? In my earlier write-ups, a range of issues fell under land resource. I don’t want you to forget that we defined land resource as – spatial land and the humans living on that land. We included our people in the diaspora as part of our possessions, albeit, our resource base. Therefore, it is not only the inanimate objects on a land that qualify as the resource base of the land, rather, the humans capacities foundling with the land itself are all part of the resource base.
So then, a resource base stretches beyond economic resources on the land even though that is the front line considerations. But that itself is part of it.

Host communities of natural resources often pride in this gift of nature. But it is not only the gift of nature that often serve as a resource base. The non-gifts, or rather, the gift or fruit of labour is also a resource base to be harnessed for development.
This means that a community cannot risk depending solely on natural resources. It needs also to depend on the unnatural resources. It needs to depend on technology that is not natural to produce. Resource base there force encompasses such ideas of the combination attainable through the marriage of natural and unnatural resources.

Unequivocally, Ebelle needs her natural resources to develop. But she also needs her unnatural resources. The natural resources are natural elements of livelihood such as land, forests, farms, crops, streams, sand, etc while the unnatural resources are quality and quality of professionals and experts armed with knowledge to produce quality products that can be exchanged for money to be repatriated to the “land Originale” or “Land Annexes”.

“Land Originale” here is used to show the natural spatial land space whose geographic or boarders is regarded as ” The land of Ebelle “. The ” _Land Annexes_ ” is used here to refer to lands outside of Ebelle geographic belonging to Ebelle people elsewhere, bought or awarded.
Both form part of land resource of Ebelle. The bar has also be moved to say that the capabilities, proficiencies, and technical knowhow of the Ebelle people anywhere else is part of the resource base of Ebelle. This means that the Ebelle people must be careful to harness all the ramifications of their blessings spread all around the globe.

A challenge that had appeared very monstrous and notorious in the past and still lingering in some quarters is to see our diaspora people as lesser brothers or those to be exploited as preys “for the good of the land”.

Apart from being misrepresented as money-bags and as those who have the obligation to service the interest of the community, they are often trapped by the wieldy compulsory burial rites requirements on departed parents. To the indigenous people resident on the land of Ebelle, the presence of ” alien brother” is their meal ticket for the week. They act in the proverbial “Police is your friend” manner with unambiguous facial statements of “you are in trouble”. Thus, the body language of supposed brothers acting like foes or predators oftentimes embarrasses the returning kinsmen and their friends.
The game or gimmicks often project the community as not only wicked but vindictive. Any little mistake is never tolerated nor overlooked, as if it was a crime to be away from ones homeland for as long. Some of the diaspora sons and daughters are finned harshly to the disappointment and dismay of those who have had sleepless night in the anxiety of having the opportunity of reuniting with their kinsmen. These “homeboy strangers” in their own land bear it knowing fully well that the ceremony is not for ever whilst they contemplate a return to the land for never. In this case, their wealth, personal and influential resources elsewhere no longer adds up to the resource base of their fatherland . The village elders enjoy the meal taken by duress, and in contradiction, expect affection and empathy from those perceiving themselves as having been exploited. What a paradox! How come our elders are sometimes only interested in the opportunistic meals and levies when they had opportunity to gain more for themselves and their children who have not yet traveled out?
Does it mean that a one time exploitations is better than a long time opportunities? How about the resource base of the ” _Land Annexes_ ” about to be lost through the withdrawal of such from the extent of the resource base hitherto belonging to the Ebelle people through them? Are we saying that ” _Land_ _Originale”_ is the only relevant index with which we can measure the economic wealth of Ebelle? Can’t we be mindful of the Ebelle _Land Annexes_ as we are of _Ebelle Land Originale?_
At a time in human history Israel “Land Originale” was not as attractive as Israel ” _Land Annexes_ ” scattered all over the globe. They were the prime movers of key industries all over the world. Thus, the resource base of Israel transcended what they could garner on their ” _Land Originale”_ . Even as they have returned to their land enmass, the are still relying heavily on funds repatriated from the diaspora. Ebelle therefore must get wisdom from this.

Truth be told, that Ebelle, and indeed Esanland, have more to gain from being humane to their tactically estranged brothers. They must realize that even though our diaspora people show the semblance of strangers, they cannot be real strangers since blood is thicker than water, any day.
However, it is also clear that community elders are sometimes misinterpreted. Whereas they use harsh tones in conversations or delivery of messages, it is only done for the sake of emphasis and not of bitterness. The inability of the people nurtured in other cultures to decode the meanings attached to some clannish interaction, is what is responsible sometimes for the loggerheads or semblance of conflict.

The diaspora people must remember that home is home; and no one wishes for their estrangement. Therefore, they must be resolute in defending their inalienable rights and access to their fatherland knowing fully well that their personal economic and psychosocial resources (natural or unnatural) form part of the constellation of blessings bequeathed on a people. They cannot shirk their responsibilities of serving to increase and protect the resource base of their fatherland. The angry eyes of the elders shouldn’t dissuade them from keeping and expanding their heritage. It is their right to exist. And it is their right to express self confidence in dealing with kinsmen.
They must know that their intellect is, because they are. And they are what their progenitor have bequeathed to them. The homes, wealth, friends, scholarships, influence is there as a resource base for Ebelle and meant for Ebelle’s advancement.
But if they continue to perceive their people as barbaric and witchy, the purpose for which they carry the blood of their ancestors in their veins becomes a colossal waste to humanity that have separated us into families and clans.
Ebelle Ogha mhen. Iseeee!
.

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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