Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit Nigeria to promote the Invictus Games and connect with injured soldiers

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived in Nigeria on Friday to support the Invictus Games, an international sporting event founded by Prince Harry to aid in the rehabilitation of wounded and sick servicemembers and veterans. The royal couple’s visit to Nigeria is their first, and they were invited by the nation’s military to meet with wounded soldiers and their families in an effort to boost morale and show support for their recovery.

Nigeria has been facing a 14-year war against Islamic extremists, and the Invictus Games have been seen as a way to help the soldiers in their rehabilitation process. The director of sports at Nigeria’s Defense Headquarters, Abidemi Marquis, expressed the importance of the engagement with Invictus in aiding the recovery of the soldiers.

Prince Harry, who served as an Apache helicopter copilot gunner in Afghanistan, founded the Invictus Games in 2014 as a way to challenge wounded veterans and servicemembers to compete in sports events similar to the Paralympics. Last year, Nigeria participated in the games, and this year, the royal couple will attend basketball and volleyball matches and meet with local non-governmental organizations in Abuja and Lagos.

Meghan will also co-host an event on women in leadership with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organization, during their visit. The news of Meghan’s visit has generated excitement in Nigeria, where her life and association with the British royal family are closely followed.

The Nigerian military has praised the Invictus Games for its positive impact on the recovery of its personnel who have been battling Boko Haram extremists since 2009. Marquis highlighted that 80% of the soldiers involved in the recovery program have shown improvement in their personal self-esteem, mental health, and emotional intelligence, thanks to the support provided through the games.

Overall, Prince Harry and Meghan’s visit to Nigeria is not just a diplomatic gesture but a tangible show of support for the soldiers and veterans who have sacrificed so much in the country’s ongoing conflict. The Invictus Games serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the Nigerian military personnel, offering them a sense of purpose and community as they strive towards recovery and healing.

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