Minister of foreign affairs Geoffrey Onyeama says the Republic of Benin is not aspiring to be the 37th state of Nigeria.
The minister stated this in a release by the ministry signed by its spokesperson Ferdinand Nwonye on Saturday following speculations.
The ministry explained that the misleading reports was quoted out of context following the meeting with Mr Onyeama and his Beninese counterpart on February 18 in Abuja.
“The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to misleading reports in the media that the Republic of Benin is aspiring to be the 37th State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement read.
“The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in the presence of his counterpart from the Republic of Benin granted a Press Interview after a very fruitful meeting between Ministerial delegations from both countries.
“And stated therein ‘… the President of Benin Republic said he would like the relations between the two countries to be so close as if Benin was the 37th State of Nigeria’.
“The Federal Republic of Nigeria has no territorial ambition and has never aspired to make Benin or any country as part of Nigeria.
“The Minister of Foreign Affairs was therefore quoted out of context and the general public should kindly disregard the wrong information.”