Publisher of Oasis Magazine, Daniel Dafe Umukoro, has been invited by the Department of State Services (DSS) over a publication made by the medium on the ongoing crisis rocking the Delta State chapter of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
In a statement on Friday, Umukoro said he received a call from a DSS operative in Asaba, saying a petition was written by one Amb Oke Idawene Hexx against him thus the invitation.
Although the said operative did not disclose the content of the petition, the publisher said the invitation was not unconnected with a recent publication on the medium where a factional state chairman of the party, Sir Ohwo Benson Oghotoma (OBO), called for the arrest of Idawene for parading himself as the Chairman of the party.
Oghotoma told Mr. Umukoro in the interview that Idawene had been removed as chairman of the party.
According to Umukoro, his involvement by the DSS in the matter was appalling, adding that a discussion about two days ago between him and Idawene was that he would send a statement to the publisher as his own side of the story for publication on the magazine’s website.
“I did not publish an investigation. It was an interview I did. Secondly, I gave him an opportunity to speak, but he shunned it maybe because he has close ties with the DSS. I also hope someone or some persons is/are not using him to get at me because I have always been one voice that is against many things that do not go down well with some corrupt tendencies in the state.
“I will honour the invitation. But, I think the world should know that an hardworking man like me is trying to be roped into what I have no business with. Sir Oghotoma spoke. Why not try to prove that you are the authentic chairman rather than taking your party’s internal crisis to the DSS?
“I am even aware that the national executive of the party has since initiated peace moves for the aggrieved factions in the party.
“Well, like I said, I will honour the invitation. I don’t see any wrongdoing by me here. I have already notified the NUJ, ACNPN, lawyers and a few rights groups. So journalists, publishers and others in the state are already aware of the unnecessary and failure-programmed attempted intimidation they are directing at me which will not work. Maybe Idawene is trying to mute me. I wouldn’t want to be dragged into SDP crisis because I don’t belong to any political party.
“If he has any ulterior motive other than my publication, I urge him to retrace his step and give peace a chance. I have never met him and so I have no ill-will towards him. It was an interview and press statement I published. I gave him his own chance, he turned it down because maybe he wants to prove that he is a friend to the DSS,” Dafe said.
According to sources, Umukoro was asked to appear at the DSS office on Monday, but said that day was not fixable and is yet to pick a date to honour the invitation.
Meanwhile, sources said Sir Oghotoma and Mr. Austin Okakor who Oghotoma and his supporters and many party faithful believe is the authentic Chairman of the party have also been invited by the DSS.