Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State said on Friday that the Southeast would remain in political isolation if its people continue to distance themselves from the party in power at the centre.
He said the recent defection of Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State to the All Progressives Congress (APC) was part of the efforts to get the zone into the federal fold.
Uzodinma spoke to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa.
But he said Umahi did not join the APC because of his personal presidential ambition as being speculated in some quarters.
He said: ”What we are doing in the South East as a party is carrying the message of the party.
“Before this time, some of us believed that we should have marketed the ideologies and policies better than the past leadership did.
“What we are trying to do is to explain to our people the need to see that this Nigerian project belongs to all of us, and if you jump out of the train, don’t accuse anybody of pushing you out of the train.
“It is not about whether you want to be president now or not; you don’t get presidential ticket by the market square, it is the decision of the political party. You must be loyal to your political party.
“So I know that my brother Umahi is politically strong in the Southeast and joining APC would add to the value of the party in my region, but he never told me he is coming because he will be president.
“I want these people who want to cause confusion and create bad name for Umahi to run away from that point and then encourage our people who have decided to align with the ruling party.