Nigerian Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama said that Benin Republic, an independent country in West Africa would soon join Nigeria as its 37th state – Nigeria Media
According to the Minister, the President of Benin, Patrice Talon, had expressed a strong willingness to be part of Africa’s largest country in terms of population and GDP size.
Onyeama revealed this crucial information after a private meeting with his Beninoise counterpart – Foreign Minister Aurelien Agbenonci. According to Onyeama, the president of Benin made the decision after his recent visit to President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.
The DailyTrust of Nigeria reports that the President of Benin professes that his statement about joining Nigeria is not just a rhetoric but in reality, they want to be the actual 37th state of Nigeria.
Nigeria is currently facing numerous internal issues – its northern region is struggling to curb banditry and mass kidnapping. In the Southwest region, there has been some pockets of tribal conflict between ethnic fulanis and groups in Oyo state led by Sunday Igboho – a local car salesman. Also in the Eastern region, Nigeria military recently launched an attack on the camps of a newly formed security network called Eastern Security Network.
The Office of Nigeria Foreign Ministry released a statement dismissing a wide media report that the Republic of Benin aspires to join Nigeria as its 37th state. The news was first published by a credible Nigerian media that conducted the interview with the minister, after a closed-door meeting with his Beninese counterpart.
The statement reads: “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 an 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,”.