The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, says the Republic of Benin is not aspiring to be the 37 State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs made this disclaimer in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, on Saturday in Abuja.
The ministry is reacting to misleading speculations.
The Foreign Ministry explained that the misleading reports was quoted out of context following the meeting with Onyeama and his Beninese counterpart on Feb. 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 37 State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“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,” the ministry urged.