ByÂ Dapo Akinrefon
THE Akpan of Uyo and Ntisong Ibibio II, Sir James Umoren, has called on Ibibio leaders to tread cautiously in their bid to support any candidate in the 2011 governorship election.
Umoren, who is also the Grand Patron of Ibibio Elderâ€™s Forum, said if care was not taken, it might lead to the eventual collapse of the Ibibio political platform.
Umoren, in a statement which reads in part said â€œI am writing because it has come to my knowledge that Ibibio leaders seek to use the Asan and by extension, the Esop platform to declare their support for any candidate in 2011.â€
â€œWhile it is the right of everyone to hold whatever view they may please, it is my opinion that it should be done in a manner that will seek to commit the Ibibio people to a cause that all may not believe inâ€.
Stating the need for Ibibios to forestall a repeat of history, he said â€œI urge you to remember what happened in 1982 when Ntisong I took a political stand in favour of a certain party, the result was the near collapse of the Esop.â€
Accordingly, he urged that â€œI am appealing to you as the leader of the Ibibio race not to allow anything to be done to marginalise them.
Do not allow anyone to jeopardize your authority before your people for political reasons. At this trying time for the Ibibio people I pray that God will give you the wisdom for this season.â€