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The federal government has dismissed media reports that the Republic of Benin is aspiring to be the 37th state in Nigeria describing them as ‘misleading’
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye, made this clarification in a statement he issued in Abuja on Saturday, according to him, Nigerians should ignore such reports as Nigeria presently have no such plans.
Nwonye further said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, was quoted out of context during a press briefing after meeting his counterparts from the Republic of Benin.
‘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,’ Nwonye clarified.
A report claiming that the Republic of Benin was intending to be Nigeria’s 37th state had on Saturday gone viral in Nigeria especially on social media which drew the attention and subsequent reactions of Nigerians who found the news report rather amusing than interesting. Many Nigerians claimed that the fellow west African country was simply looking for ways to earn its own ‘oil’ money from Nigeria. These claims and news reports have now been debunked by the ministry of foreign affairs in Nigeria.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK