Prince Harry, Meghan End Nigeria Tour With Visit To Lagos

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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.

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Britain’s Prince Harry (2ndR), Duke of Sussex, and Britain’s Meghan (R), Duchess of Sussex, react as Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (2ndL), gives a speech at the State Governor House in Lagos on May 12, 2024 as they visit Nigeria as part of celebrations of Invictus Games anniversary. (Photo by Kola SULAIMON / AFP)

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 vice-president of an NBA team 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 10 years ago to help bring wounded veterans into sporting events to aid with their recuperation.

Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (2ndR) interacts with children as she and Britain’s Prince Harry (unseen), Duke of Sussex, attend a basketball exhibition training match at Ilupeju Grammar School in Lagos on May 12, 2024 as they visit Nigeria as part of celebrations of Invictus Games anniversary. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

 

The couple later met with Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and also attended a Lagos fundraiser.

“He has seen a lot and is still soaking in a whole lot,” the governor said of the prince’s experience of Nigeria.

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (3rdL), and Nigeria Chief of Defense Staff Christopher Musa (3ndR), welcome Britain’s Prince Harry (2ndR), Duke of Sussex, and Britain’s Meghan (R), Duchess of Sussex, as they arrive at the State Governor House in Lagos on May 12, 2024 as they visit Nigeria as part of celebrations of Invictus Games anniversary. (Photo by Kola SULAIMON / AFP)

 

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”.

“It’s been really eye-opening and humbling to be able to know more about my heritage and to be able to know, this is just the beginning of that discovery.”

Britain’s Prince Harry (C), Duke of Sussex, takes part in a basketball exhibition training match at Ilupeju Grammar School in Lagos on May 12, 2024, as he and Britain’s Meghan (unseen), Duchess of Sussex visit Nigeria as part of celebrations of Invictus Games anniversary. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

 

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.

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (2rdR), walks with Britain’s Prince Harry (3ndR), Duke of Sussex, and Britain’s Meghan (C), Duchess of Sussex, as they leave the State Governor House in Lagos on May 12, 2024 as they visit Nigeria as part of celebrations of Invictus Games anniversary. (Photo by Kola SULAIMON / AFP)

 

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.

Britain’s Prince Harry (2ndR), Duke of Sussex, and Britain’s Meghan (R), Duchess of Sussex, react as Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (unseen), gives a speech at the State Governor House in Lagos on May 12, 2024 as they visit Nigeria as part of celebrations of Invictus Games anniversary. (Photo by Kola SULAIMON / AFP)

 

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.

Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (C) and Britain’s Prince Harry (3rdR), Duke of Sussex, attend a basketball exhibition training match at Ilupeju Grammar School in Lagos on May 12, 2024 as they visit Nigeria as part of celebrations of Invictus Games anniversary. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

 

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.

AFP

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