By Chinelo Obogo
The South East, South South Professionals (SESSP) has solicited the support of The Sun Publishing Limited in its effort at economic development of the two regions in the South.
Speaking in Lagos yesterday, during a visit to The Sun, its President, Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju, who led a four-man delegation, said since the newspaper company shared the same ideals as his group, especially in the socio-economic development of the country, a partnership would go a long way in achieving the objective.
He commended The Sun for its robust journalism, while hinting that the SESSP was working with stakeholders in the South East and South South to ensure economic integration and industrialisation of the two regions.
Ugwu-Oju revealed that professionals in the South East and South South had, since 2005, been working together for the enhancement of the potentials of the two regions in the Southeastern Nigeria, adding that much had been achieved in this regard.
On why the delegation visited The Sun, he said the SESSP wanted to share ideas on the state of the nation as well as seek out ways to work together.
On the objectives of the group, he said: “Beyond being a professional association, we are also an advocacy group. One major factor that has been going for us is our credibility. One of the key projects we are handling is to make a roadmap for the economic development of the South East and South South. It is a document, which captures all the economic problems of the region and the solutions to them. We have also made a decision to set up a development fund, which we would use to carry out projects in some key sectors in the region.”
On the recent visit of the United States Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, to Nigeria, Ugwu-Oju said the fact that the visiting American only met with governors from the North, in exclusion of southerners, could only cause disaffection in the country.
Responding, the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun, Mr. Eric Osagie, commended the group for its sacrifice and promised that the paper, which is a pro-people and pan-Nigerian outfit, would always support any laudable project that would benefit Nigerians.
He said: “We know that this association is driven by integrity, and we know that it can be taken for granted that we are partners with you because we support worthy causes. We are a pro-people and pan-Nigerian outfit. We are a paper that reaches out to the grassroots, middle and upper class as well, and as long as your association is fighting for any part of the country, we would support you. We believe that your battle is not just for a group of people, but also for the development of the entire nation.”