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Prince Harry, Meghan in Nigeria for Invictus games, Soldier meetings

Prince Harry and Meghan visit children at the Lights Academy in Abuja, Nigeria, Friday, May 10, 2024.   -  
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Sunday Alamba/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.


Prince Harry and Meghan arrived in Nigeria to support the Invictus Games, helping wounded veterans, including Nigerian soldiers in a 14-year battle against extremists.

Invited by the military, the royal couple landed in Abuja early Friday 10TH May, said defense spokesman Brig. Gen. Tukur Gusau.

Connect with wounded soldiers

Harry and Meghan will be meeting with wounded soldiers and their families in what Nigerian officials have said is a show of support to improve the soldiers' morale and well-being.

"This engagement with Invictus is giving us the opportunity for the recovery of our soldiers," Abidemi Marquis, the director of sports at Nigeria's Defense Headquarters, told reporters on Thursday.

Harry served in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter copilot gunner, after which he founded the Invictus Games in 2014 to offer wounded veterans and servicemembers the challenge of competing in sports events similar to the Paralympics.

Couple’s itinerary

During their stay, they will attend basketball and volleyball matches and will meet with local non-governmental organizations in Abuja and Lagos that are receiving support from them.

Meghan will also co-host an event on women in leadership with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organization, according to their spokesman Charlie Gipson.

The news of Meghan's visit excited some in Nigeria where her life and association with the British royal family is closely followed.

Impact of the game

The Nigerian military has touted the Invictus Games as one that could help the recovery of thousands of its personnel who have been fighting the homegrown Boko Haram Islamic extremists and their factions since 2009 when they launched an insurgency.

"Eighty percent of our soldiers that have been involved in this recovery program are getting better (and) their outlook to life is positive," Marquis, the military's sports director, said.

"The recovery program has given them an opportunity to improve their personal self-esteem, to improve their mental health and emotional intelligence."

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