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    Prince Harry, Meghan land in Nigeria, visit DHQ, Kaduna

    The Kaduna State Governor, Senator Uba Sani, on Friday, received Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, exactly 68 years after his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, visited the state, on February 2, 1959.

    The Queen was received by the late Premier of the defunct Northern region, Sir Ahmadu Bello.

    Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, arrived in Nigeria on Friday to promote the Invictus Games, an initiative he founded to support the rehabilitation of wounded and sick service members and veterans, including Nigerian soldiers engaged in a 14-year conflict against Islamic extremists.

    According to Associated Press on Friday, the couple, visiting West Africa for the first time at the invitation of the Nigerian military, arrived in the capital city of Abuja early in the morning, according to defence spokesman Brigadier General Tukur Gusau.

    During their visit, they will meet with wounded soldiers and their families, aiming to boost morale and well-being. Nigerian officials have hailed this engagement as a significant opportunity for the recovery of Nigerian soldiers.

    While welcoming the Duke of Sussex to the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House in Kaduna, the governor said he was delighted to receive Harry to the state, he described as the “heartbeat of Northern Nigeria.”

    Sani described Harry, who was in the state without his wife, as a symbol of courage, perseverance, compassion, and the oneness of humanity while also commending him for his selfless service to the United Kingdom and humanity.

    He said despite Harry’s privileged upbringing and position in the Royal Family, he opted to go to the battlefield in the service of your country, adding that he remained an inspiration to the youths and an epitome of patriotism.

    The governor said, “Nigeria and the United Kingdom have had a long-standing relationship. In the forging of Nigeria-British relations, Kaduna hosted some of the most prominent political and administrative officers from colonial times to the attainment of Nigeria’s independence in 1960.

    “The first British Governor of Northern Nigeria, Sir Frederick Lugard chose to operate from Kaduna due to its proximity to the Lagos – Kano Railway. Kaduna became the capital of former Northern Nigeria in 1917. To date, Kaduna remains the political and cultural capital of Northern Nigeria.

    “Kaduna also occupies a strategic place in the growth and development of the Nigerian Military. The West African Frontier Force -WAFF (the precursor of today’s Armed Forces of Nigeria) was transferred to Kaduna in 1913 because it was isolated from other existing towns, and free from local political complications.

    “The movement of the WAFF from Zungeru to Kaduna on 21st February 1913 can thus be said to be the birth of modern Kaduna, and this is why Kaduna State is rightly regarded as the home of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.”

    Earlier, the Duke of Sussex, Princess Harry, said the focus of his trip is basically to see the wounded soldiers who are serving the country as well as the families of those killed on the battlefield.

    He said having founded a charity organisation that caters to the welfare of soldiers ten years ago, Nigeria is the first African country to embrace the organisation with ten fantastic soldiers.

    “We had a conversation with the Chief of Defence Staff some f hours ago and our coming had put smiles on the wounded soldiers,” he said.

    Prince Harry’s decision to visit Nigeria followed an invite by the military high command following the nation’s debut appearance at the 2023 Invictus Games, held in Düsseldorf, Germany.

    The Invictus Games, founded by Prince Harry In 2014 is an international multi-sport event for Wounded, Injured, and Sick military personnel that offers support, recovery pathways, and rehabilitation for the personnel, post-injury.

    According to the Director of Sports, Defence Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Abidemi Marquis, “80 per cent” of the nation’s soldiers have been involved in the recovery programme and “are doing better”.

    “The focal point of the visit is for the wounded and injured soldiers as a result of our engagement in counterterrorism operations,” Marquis said, noting that part of his visit would entail interacting with the WIS military personnel which will in turn boost their mental health and self-esteem,” he stated.

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