After futile attempts to join Nigeria as the 37th state, despite the odds, Benin Republic has again vowed to become part of Nigeria.
Though it is still at embryonic stage, the sound is now more louder than before when during the tenure of President Goodluck Jonathan that country first came out with that plan.
“The President of Benin said as far as they are concerned, they want (not just saying it like that) but in reality, Benin should be the 37th state of Nigeria,” says Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.
Onyeama stated this shortly after a closed-door meeting with Beninoise Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Aurélien Agbenonci.
According to Onyeama, the Beninoise president made the offer when he paid a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari a couple of weeks ago.
“We should really be one,” Onyeama adds. “They charged us to come together at ministerial level, to work out a framework for a sustainable relationship.”
Onyeama says during the visit, both presidents discussed bilateral agreements and how to better tackle the smuggling menace across the border.
It would be recalled that in year 2011 and 2015, Benin Republic which is 12 million people, expressed a desire to be a part of Nigeria. Former Beninoise President, Boni Yayi, often described Benin Republic as Nigeria’s 37th state in 2011 and 2015 under Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Buhari respectively.