By Anote Ajeluorou
Notable poet and polemicist Odia Ofeimun, columnists Otunba Tola Adeniyi and Henry Boyo, newspaper manager and former Commissioner for Information in Anambra State, Mr. Tony Onyima were among personalities who commended Dr. Jimanze Ego-Alowes, the author of a new book Economists As Assassins: The Nigerian Connection yesterday in Lagos.
The book deals with philosophical thoughts on the issues of development and how wrongheaded models. Ego-Alowes asserts that such models are fashioned after Harvard-trained scholars who are not original thinkers of new canons, which are usually the preferred in a country like Nigeria. Ultimately, the ill-digested models work to harm the economy.
For Adeniyi, onetime Daily Times ace writer and author of The Lunatic, Ego-Alowes’ Economists As Assassins “is not just about philosophy, but about the philosophy of thinking; it’s not just about economics, but the application of economics; it’s not just about politics, but about the application of politics”.
He, however, was not happy that the book was not launched with fanfare, as befitted the deep thinking that Ego-Alowes has brought to bear on the concept of development. He noted that the author’s efforts deserved to be duly rewarded in monetary terms.
According to him, ‘The era of art for arts’ sake doesn’t quite fit in any more. The author does not have a farm ort factory. His only factory is his brain and he must make money from it. The book is just too great to be left unacknowledged publicly”.
Boyo described the author as a courageous and creative man who doesn’t tell lies. “He’s a creative Nigerian; his paths of thoughts are very novel; they are not what you’re used to. My opinion in a lot of things gets shaken each time I read his books. I have never seen anyone regard Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu as a thug before until I read Ego-Alowes. The best are never celebrated in our clime. Certainly, in the creative world, his is one of the top dozens. His thoughts are grounded in historical process. He means that we should look at things in a different perspective. Jimanze must love his country to have written so passionately and engagingly about her. You are a great writer, one of the best in your generation”.
Onyima also described Ego-Alowes as a “public thinker, but who is very irreverent. I don’t know how he manages to stay aloof fof the controversy he generates”.
Onyima recounted how he was once asked to yank off his column in The Sun, but he refused, and advised, “We need plurality and diversity of views”.
He, however, said the problem of writers was that they were delusional about their writing if they expected a group of people somewhere would implement their ideas. Nevertheless, he added, “We must commoditise our ideas and market them like products. Perhaps. That is when writers might begin to be taken seriously. Economists As Assassins is a god commodity from the title”.
Ofeimun charged that everyone ought to be an economist so he does get hoodwinked. He also said those managing Nigeria’s economy forgot what it meant to plan for the future and restated that the country was one of the most savable countries he knew. “Ego-Alowes takes the broad strokes and make us fill the gaps,” he noted.
Ego-Alowes praised Adeniyi for his presence and for his love of things of the mind, adding, “a tradition not readily available now”, and noted that he’d done a little book that would “add an inch or more to what you already know”.
Chairman of event, Mr. Nick Gbulie, who attended St. Augustine Grammar School with the author, said Ego-Alowes has a tradition associated with his alma mater and has made good on it.