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Prince Harry Visits Kaduna, Pledges Support For Wounded Soldiers

The prince who arrived at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House in Kaduna on Friday afternoon was accompanied by some aides and top nigerian military officers.


 

The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry has visited Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State as well as soldiers who were wounded in action as part of his activities while in Nigeria.

The prince who arrived at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House in Kaduna on Friday afternoon was accompanied by some aides and top Nigerian military officers.

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While welcoming the prince, Governor Sani commended him for identifying with the Nigerian Armed Forces and supporting wounded soldiers.

The governor noted that such visits would go a long way in lifting the spirits of the brave and resilient officers and soldiers.

According to him, Prince Harry’s visit is evidence of his commitment to inspiring recovery, supporting rehabilitation, and broadening respect for the Nigerian soldiers.

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“I also salute you for your exemplary activism in the area of wildlife conservation, especially in Africa. You also helped found a Charity for children in Lesotho. In sports, you founded the Invictus Games, an international sporting competition for injured and sick veterans and service people. Your life-long pursuit of good causes aligns with my own life-long activism for improvement in the conditions of the poor, vulnerable, and underserved in our society. As governor, I have committed myself to bringing hope to the weak and vulnerable,” he 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.

“From housing the West African Frontier Force during colonial times, Kaduna is now home to the Premier Division of the Nigerian Army, 1 Division, and the Premier Base of the Nigerian Air Force, where you landed. It also houses the Nigerian Defence Academy, the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, the Nigerian Navy School of Armament Technology, and many other notable military institutions.

“I wish to specially thank you for identifying with the Armed Forces of Nigeria, and for your commitment to inspiring and supporting our troops. Your visit will definitely lift the spirits of our brave and resilient officers and men and women of the Armed Forces.

“As the Governor of Kaduna State, I have committed myself to the sustenance of the more than a century of this excellent relationship between our State and the Armed Forces. They are our strategic partners. We collaborate closely for the attainment of their constitutional mandates. They also play a vital role in ensuring security as a foundation for our key objectives in health, education, infrastructure, and socio-economic development, alongside the promotion of peaceful coexistence and togetherness”.

 

On his part, Prince Harry said he is in Nigeria to use the Invictus Games he founded 10 years ago to put smiles on the faces of wounded Nigerian soldiers and their families.

He said having founded a charity organization 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 Defense Staff some few hours ago and our coming had put smiles to the wounded soldiers,” he said.

In line with traditional hospitality, Governor Sani presented some gift items to Prince Harry and decorated him in a traditional Hausa attire.

From the Kaduna State Government House, Prince Harry and his team visited the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital to interact with wounded soldiers receiving treatment.

 

 

Journalists were not allowed into the hospital wards, but the Director of Defence Information Brigadier General Tukur Gusau explained that the visit would impact the lives of the wounded soldiers and their families.

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Nigeria is the first African country to join in the Invictus Games held in Germany last year with ten participants from the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Prince Harry’s visit to Kaduna came 68 years after his late grandmother Queen Elizabeth II visited the state during the time of the late Premier of Northern Region Sir Ahmadu Bello.