From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The federal government has dismissed media reports that the Republic of Benin is aspiring to be the 37th state in Nigeria.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye, in a statement issued in Abuja, said the report was misleading.
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 said.
Nwonye further called on the the general public to disregard the wrong information.