Honoring a rare invitation as Special Guest at the 63rd Independence anniversary of Republic of Benin, Tuesday, in Cotonou, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu said the commonality of cultures, history and demographics of both countries will be explored to the advantage of citizens.

President Tinubu, who was invited by the President of the neighboring country, Patrice Talon, noted that the proximity of the two countries, and similarity in economy, and outlook on development, makes it compulsory to collectively pursue same goal of growth, and elevating the populace, particularly the youths.

“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, during an interaction with journalists.

The President said the vision of political and economic stability of Nigeria and Benin can only be realized by working together, assuring that the partnership will be strengthened and upscaled at various levels.

President Tinubu thanked Talon for the honor, and for also inviting six Nigerian governors, who graced the occasion. The governors are: Ogun, Dapo Abiodun; Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Oyo, Seyi Makinde; Kwara, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq; Kebbi, Nasir Idris, and Niger, Mohammed Umar Bago.

In his remarks, President Talon said the historic invitation of having another leader at the country’s independence celebration was to show high respect for President Tinubu, following his track record of providing leadership in Nigeria, and the West Coast.

“I want to really appreciate President Tinubu for honoring our invitation to participate in our 63rd anniversary. 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,’’ the Beninese leader added.

Apart from the shared border, President Talon noted that Nigeria and Benin have stayed together over many years as a family, and the good relationship should be encouraged among citizens.

President Tinubu returned to Nigeria after the Independence event.


Dele Alake

Special Adviser to the President

Special Duties, Communications and Strategy

August 1, 2023