Prince Harry visits Kaduna for wounded soldiers, veterans 

The Duke of Sussex, and second son of King Charles of Britain, Prince Harry on Friday paid a visit to Kaduna state as part of his trip to Nigeria.

Speaking when he was received at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna by Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna state and other government officials, Prince Harry said the focus of his trip is basically to see the wounded soldiers who were injured while serving the country, as well as the families of those killed in the battle field. 

He said having found a charity organization that cater for the welfare of soldiers 10 years ago, Nigeria is the first African country to benefit from the charity organization with 10 soldiers to benefit from the charity. 

“We have a conversation with the Chief of Defense Staff some few hours ago and our coming to Nigeria had put smiles on the wounded soldiers’ faces,” he said.

Governor Sani, while receiving the Britain Royal Family at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, said Prince Harry is an inspiration to the youths and an epitome of patriotism.

“I’m extremely delighted to welcome Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, to Kaduna state, the heartbeat of Northern Nigeria and Nigeria’s Centre of Learning. Your visit reminds us of another happy event 68 years ago, when Queen Elizabeth II, your grandmother, was welcomed to Kaduna on 2nd February, 1956, by our revered leader, the Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello. 

“You are a symbol of courage, perseverance, compassion, and the oneness of humanity. I commend you for your selfless service to the United Kingdom and humanity. You made your mark in the United Kingdom’s Air force, attaining the rank of Captain. Despite your privileged upbringing and position in the Royal Family, you opted to go to the battlefield in the service of your country. You are an inspiration to the youths and an epitome of patriotism. 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.

“Nigeria and the United Kingdom have had 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 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 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. I thank you once again for coming to encourage our veterans, our soldiers wounded in action, and families of our soldiers Killed In action.

“We are grateful for your work towards creating a hub dedicated to the welfare of personnel of our armed forces. Your visit is evidence of your commitment to inspiring recovery, supporting rehabilitation, and broadening respect for our brave troops. Please give our regards to the Duchess of Sussex, Princess Meghan, who is in Abuja for another event. We are grateful to her and would have been delighted to receive her as well. I thank you for this historic visit. Enjoy your stay in our beautiful city,” Sani said.