Nigeria Denies Report of Making Benin Republic 37th State

By Ugbede Usman

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The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement titled, ‘Republic of Benin Is Not Aspiring To Be Part Of Nigeria’ issued on Saturday as signed by the ministry’s spokesman, Ferdinand Nwonyeon, said that it never planned to make the Republic of Benin it’s 37th state.

“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 Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama in the presence of his counterpart from the Republic of Benin granted a Press Interview after a fruitful meeting between the Ministerial delegation from both countries and stated there ‘…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,” the statement said.

Reports have been making round on the social media that Benin Republic has asked Nigeria to made her it’s 37th state.

Even though the two West African countries share cultural similarities, language and ways of life, Benin became an independent country two years earlier before Nigeria gained her independent in 1960.

The two countries have been having seamless trans-regional trade and transactions through the popular Seme-Badagry border. 

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