The Federal Government of Nigeria says the Republic of Benin is not aspiring to be 37th state of Nigeria.
Some reports had been circulating quoting the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, as saying Benin Republic is interested in becoming a state in Nigeria.
But in a statement on Saturday, foreign ministry spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwonye, described the reports as misleading.
He stated that Onyeama was wrongly quoted when he said “… 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”.
Nwonye, therefore, urged members of the public to ignore the misinformation.
“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 statement read.
“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.”