Dabiri-Erewa Lauds Duke, Duchess of Sussex for Invictus Games Centre in Nigeria



The Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa has commended the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, for their innumerable philanthropic works to society, especially for injured, sick and traumatised soldiers and war veterans.

She gave the commendatio at the welcome banquet held in their honour by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, in Abuja. 

The NiDCOM Chairman/CEO stated that the kind gesture from them will empower the wounded soldiers, who have sacrificed their lives to protect the country.

“The initiative for the proposal to cite the Invictus Centre in Nigeria to support the categories of soldiers mentioned above is not only laudable but also a testament of our commitment as a country to look after those who have suffered in one way or the other in the line of duty to protect our nation”, she said.

The NiDCOM boss added that this visit would also boost Nigeria's quest and interest to host the Invictus Games 2027 and enhance the proposal to cite the Invictus Centre in Nigeria in support of the wounded, injured and sick war veterans, among others. 

In addition,  Dabiri-Erewa who learnt that Meghan Markle is 43 percent Nigerian after having her genealogy (DNA) done in 2022, commended the Duchess for being an embodiment of the Nigerian woman and her activities towards women and girl-child empowerment.

She used the opportunity to welcome the Duchess to Nigeria and extended an invitation to attend the Annual Badagry Door of Return Festival in Lagos.

Prince Harry, who is the founder of the Invictus Games Foundation stated that in the 10 years of the Invictus Games, one remarkable moment was to have the Nigerian team win gold and bronze medals at their first outing in the 2023 games held in Düsseldorf, Germany.

He expressed his pleasure at Nigeria joining the Invictus Games and hoped to witness more participation.

Also, the Duke of Sussex is certain that the proposed Invictus Games Centre in Nigeria will bring succour to the injured, sick and traumatised army men and women.

The Duke, who served as a member of the Royal Armed Forces in the UK, assured his commitment in collaborating with the Nigerian Armed Forces, especially with the Centre in Nigeria, which he is enthusiastic about. 

He further appreciated the warm hospitality he and his wife had received since their arrival to Nigeria, while calling on everyone to support and respect the Armed Forces, especially the injured soldiers. 

The Minister of Defence,  Mohammed Badaru Abubakar was delighted that such a facility will be built in the country adding  that this gesture is apt, given the sacrifices the soldiers have made to defend the country.

Also, Major General Uche Agbor representing the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, said that the Nigerian Army will continually cater to the welfare of its soldiers, especially post-war and injured ones.

He thanked the royal couple for choosing Nigeria to build a centre during this historic visit, which he believes will rehabilitate the victims to become the best versions of themselves, irrespective of the present challenge facing them.

In addition, Hajia Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, wife of the Minister of Budget and Planning, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu said she is pleased at their visit to help the wounded soldiers. 

Bagudu who is an advocate for girl-child education, as well as, cancer patients, especially for women, noted that this will go a long way to give hope to the army personnels who were  injured in their line of duty.

Furthermore, the  Chief of tDefence Staff added that Nigeria was well represented at its first participation at the Invictus Games last year where the

 players who despite all odds, excelled greatly, showing that limitation is of the mind, and everyone can be great in whatever field they find themselves. 

Some of the major highlights were the  gift presentations of African attire by Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa,  and another by the Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA) in conjunction with the Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA) to the Duke and Duchess. 

The royal couple arrived in Nigeria on Friday, at the invitation of General Christopher Gwabin Musa, following the nation’s maiden  appearance at the 2023 Invictus Games, held in Düsseldorf, Germany. 

The Invictus Games Foundation “offers a recovery pathway for international wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women (WIS)”. The Foundation “collaborates to provide opportunities for post-traumatic growth: enabling those involved to reclaim their purpose, identity and future, beyond injury”.

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