Prince Harry, Meghan finish Nigeria tour in Lagos

2024-05-12 18:23:27

The Peninsula

Lagos: Prince Harry and his wife Meghan wrapped up their three-day visit to Nigeria on Sunday, arriving in the country's economic capital Lagos during a trip to promote his Invictus Games for wounded military veterans.

The Duke of Sussex arrived with his wife on Friday in Nigeria's capital Abuja where they visited a school event on mental health, in a trip that also saw the prince meet wounded Nigerian soldiers in the country's northwest.

On day three of the visit, Prince Harry and Meghan took part in a basketball event with the Giants of Africa Foundation in Lagos, an organisation that helps youth through engagement in the sport.

The prince practised dribbling basketballs with children at the exhibition event for the foundation, which is run by former NBA player Masai Ujiri.

"The power of sports can change lives, it brings people together and creates community and there are no barriers which is the most important thing," the prince said.

Harry, a former army captain who flew helicopters in Afghanistan, founded the Invictus Games ten years ago to help bring wounded veterans into sporting events to aid with their recuperation.

The couple later met with Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and were also set to take part in a Lagos fundraiser.

On Friday afternoon, Meghan sat on an event for women in leadership with Nigerian-born World Trade Organization director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, where the Duchess discussed her Nigerian heritage and being a role model to women.

"I want to start by saying thank you very much for just how gracious you've all been in welcoming my husband and I to this country," she said to applause, before adding, "my country".

In Abuja, the prince had also taken part in a seated volleyball match with Nigerian veterans, some of who were missing limbs from combat in the country's north where troops battle jihadists and heavily armed criminal gangs.

On the Duke's volleyball team was former Nigerian soldier Peacemaker Azuegbulam, who lost his leg in combat in the northeast, and became the first African to win gold at the Invictus Games in Germany last year.

Before Nigeria, Prince Harry was in London on Wednesday to mark the 10th anniversary of the games.

His trips to the UK since he moved to the United States in 2020 always prompt fresh speculation over a potential reconciliation with his family. But he did not meet with his father King Charles on this trip.

Nigeria's military forces are battling armed groups on several fronts.

A long-running jihadist insurgency in the northeast has killed more than 40,000 people and displaced another two million since 2009. Militants have been pushed back from areas they once controlled, but they now target convoys with roadside bombs.

In northwestern and central states, heavily armed criminal gangs, known locally as bandits, carry out mass kidnappings for ransom and raid villages from camps hidden deep in remote forests.

2024-05-12 News