By Japhet Alakam
Jimanze Ego-Alowes is a prolific writer, he has written many books. One thing about him is that most of his titles look controversial and his latest book, Nigeria: The Unreported Genocide Against the Igbo, a book that dissects the unreported post-civil war genocide against the Igbo by past Nigerian rulers is making waves now. Jimanze who was one of the authors that participated in the symposium at the just concluded Lagos Book Art Fair, in this interview with Vanguard Art, talks about so his choice of titles, the coup of the two generals and other issues in the book.
The titles of your books are somehow controversial for eg Economics as Assassins, How and why Yoruba fought and lost the Biafra/Nigeria civil war, and now The unreported Genocide against the Igbo, Why is it so?
The titles are indicative of the contents of the book. And that is what drives the choosing of my titles. Well, one man’s controversies are another man’s veracities. What is important is not title. Rather it is the meat of the book.
What are the issues you feel that have not been reported despite many write up about the Igbo in your latest book, The unreported Genocide…….
They are in the books. That is what we have devoted the book to.
Why take on the two Generals as the cause of Igbo problem when there are more ethnic social and political problems in Igbo?
Of the two generals we made specific allegations. The phrase cause of the Igbo problem is strange to what we are saying. The accusations are specific. And there is not one reader of the book who has not agreed with our facts, logic and conclusion. As to taking on the generals we say as follows. What they did as coup made and or coup maker generals they did in the open. And it is our contention that whatever is done in the open can be taken up in the open. So what they have done is one of the pathologies of our time. And it is open for the taking. I am a lay historian. And I have chosen to treat the matter amongst others.
Are you not afraid that some people might come up against you?
Come up against me? Well nothing is impossible in Nigeria. But to the extent what conclusions we come to are driven by facts in the open one may be afraid for his life. But that will be the worse form of cowardice. It will be worse than death. That is to be afraid to speak of what is in the open openly is worse than death. I have nothing for or against them generally. I only insist that no man escapes into history as a hero or saint when he is not one. Yes a guy may be a rogue nationalist a rogue africanist even rogue saviour but that does not preclude us from discussing whatever he or she did in the open.
From the look of your titles, it seems many will not like to buy the books, who are your target audience?
I am and have been a publisher too. Books are not sold by the titles. Titles attract yes. But books move more by their content than by their titles. If you Google the list of bestsellers you will run into books with titles that outsold all others. And some of those titles are not the prettiest titles in the world. And we have not been complaining about sales anyway.