President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic has declared that his country is Nigeria’s 37th state, while praising President Goodluck Jonathan’s statesmanly conduct over Nigeria’s 2015 election, saying that other West African leaders would no doubt need to learn from his good example in democracy.
Yayi spoke at the Presidential Villa when he came to pay a valedictory thank you visit to Jonathan, and commend him for organising peaceful polls among the world’s largest black population.
He said Jonathan’s congratulatory call to his opponent, Muhammadu Buhari, even before the entire results were announced was a great act of statesmanship which has set a good example not only for leaders in Africa but the rest of the world.
His words: “Usually, in Africa, it is rare. He gave us very good example of democracy, not only in our sub-region, but not only in Africa , also in the whole world.”
Yayi disclosed that his country and himself benefited immensely from Jonathan’s good policies and Nigeria’s generosity, a reason for which he said he often labeled Benin Republic as the 37th state of Nigeria’s Federal Republic.
Severally describing Jonathan as his good brother, and Nigeria as his home, Yayi recalled how the outgoing President once offered him a vacation to recuperate in Nigeria’s famous Obudu Cattle Ranch.
He said Nigeria was a great country with Jonathan as a great president, who successfully led the country in the tough war against Boko Haram insurgents.
Jonathan equally led Nigeria to resolve crises in other West African countries like Mali and Guinea Bissau, recalled Yayi, who declared that the sub-region would indeed miss him.