A lot of reactions have trailed comments made by Nigeria’s foreign minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, who had suggested that Benin Republic wanted to become Nigeria’s 37th State.
He made these comments after a meeting between the presidents of both countries and their ministerial delegations earlier in the month.
Benin Republic not aspiring to become part of Nigeria
The spokesman of Nigeria’s foreign ministry, Ferdinand Nwoye, has now proceeded to clarify these comments, saying that Nigeria has never aspired to make Benin Republic or any other country at all a part of its territory.
The ministry has walked back on Onyeama’s statement, saying that the minister was quoted out of context.
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In Nwoye’s statement, the explanation was that the President of Benin said he would like for Nigeria and his country to be so close in relations, that it would be as if Benin was the 37th state of Nigeria.
Benin Republic, a francophone nation, is to the west of Nigeria, and both countries have gotten caught in a diplomatic mess in recent years as Nigeria accuses Benin of not doing enough to deal with smuggling through its borders into Nigeria.