President Bola Tinubu says Nigeria and Benin Republic would collaborate to explore cultures, history and demography for the benefit of the citizens.
In a statement, Dele Alake, special adviser to the president on special duties, communications and strategy, said Tinubu spoke during an interaction with journalists at the 63rd independence anniversary of the Republic of Benin.
Tinubu, who was the special guest of honour, noted that the proximity of the two countries, similarity in economy, and outlook on development, make it compulsory to collectively pursue the same goal of growth.
“Nigeria and Benin Republic are conjoined twins. We are joined from one stomach. In every aspect, we are one and we share much in common,” he said.
The president said the partnership would be strengthened and upscaled at various stages.
Tinubu thanked President Patrice Talon for the honour, and for also inviting six Nigerian governors to grace the occasion.
In his remarks, Talon said he showed huge respect for Tinubu by inviting him, following his track record of providing leadership in Nigeria and the west coast.
“I want to really appreciate President Tinubu for honouring our invitation to participate in our 63rd anniversary,” Talon said.
“It is not a normal practice to invite a foreign leader for independence celebration, but this signals the constructive and positive relationship we have enjoyed, and more benefits to come.”
Apart from the shared border, Talon noted that Nigeria and Benin have stayed together over many years as a family, and a good relationship should be encouraged among citizens.
Tinubu returned to Nigeria after the event.
He is expected to participate at a high-level meeting of the All Progressive Congress (APC) between August 2 and 3.