Onyeama Denies Saying Benin Republic Wants To Be Nigeria’s 37th State

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama has denied media reports quoting him as claiming that the government of Benin Republic asked to be Nigeria’s 37th state.

In a rebuttal signed by the Ministry’s Spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwonye, on Saturday, it said the reports were not correct adding that the Minister was quoted out of context.

According to Nwoye, the Government of Benin Republic, at a press briefing, only said it wanted its closeness with Nigeria to be as though it is the 37th state of the country.

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 37th 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”.

He also stressed that the federal government was not intending to colonize any country.

“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,” it added.

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