Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Saturday debunked claims that Benin Republic had begged Nigeria to annex it as its 37th state.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said its attention “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.’
“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.