Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, on Friday, said all politicians in the South-East who are not members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are targets of the ruling party.
He said the idea is to have all politicians in the zone in the APC and the plan is not restricted to state governors alone.
Uzodinma disclosed this in an interview with State House correspondents after a meeting he had with the President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He was reacting to the recent defection of his Ebonyi State counterpart, Dave Umahi, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.
He said, “Everybody that is not in the APC now in the South-East is a target.
“It is not only governors. It includes those who are not governors, the entire political class.
“The whole idea is making the ideology of the party known to the people, allaying their fears, and encouraging them to come.”
Uzodinma argued that any politician who believes in Nigeria has a pan-Nigeria attitude must belong to a national party.
“There is no gainsaying that if you are not with the national party, and you choose to be in opposition, of course, you will continue to fast until God answers your prayers.
“But we that are in the ruling party, of course, what it will take us to solve certain problems may be different from what it will take somebody who is not very close to the source of authority to solve his own problems,” he added.
Uzodinma said with Umahi’s defection, he (Uzodinma) has ceased to be an orphan because he now has a brother who is also in APC.
He said his hope was that the region would see the reason and the wisdom in coming over to the ruling party “because the ruling party is a national party.”
He added, “APC is the ruling party which has access to the Federal Government. And because our preaching and gospel have always been how to unite Nigeria, how to encourage national unity, national integration, and national cohesion.
“It will be more cost-effective to have my people, the people of South-East see reason and join the APC, the national party.
“I am very optimistic that gradually, we will get there. It’s a matter of convincing our people, which we are doing.”
The governor said over N75bn is needed to tackle over 360 erosion sites in his state and the state government cannot do it alone.
He said his government needed the support of the Federal Government and development partners to tackle the problem.