Nigerian military unveils plan for construction of Invictus centre

The Defence Headquarters, on Saturday unveiled plans for the construction of the state of the art Invictus Center to facilitate complete recovery and rehabilitation of wounded soldiers and veterans of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

The unveiling was done at a reception in honour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, who are on private visit to Nigeria on the invitation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in Abuja.

The centre is expected to be equipped with world class facilities that would aid recovery of the wounded soldiers and offered them post traumatic stress remedies as a result of trauma they might have experienced during operations.

In his remarks, Prince Harry said the invictus community was privileged to have Nigeria become the first African country to join it, saying the plans for the new invictus centre made him become emotional.

He commended the Nigerian government for its support for the construction of the centre to support the servicemen and women in their path to rehabilitation and recovery and in acknowledgement of their sacrifices.

“Our hope is that the warmth and hospitality that has been so graciously offered to us will then be extended through admiration and respect for the service members of their families long after we’re gone.

“As some of you know, when one person serves, the whole family serves and we cannot leave families behind in the healing journey.

“When one person’s trauma affects those around them, the healing of that one person can affect and improve the entire community,” he said.

The Minister of Defence, Alhaji Muhammed Badaru, thanked the Duke and Duchess for establishing the invictus game and their concern for wounded heroes.

Badaru said the support had given them the courage to continue to work and to continue to support the wounded, adding that the government would do its best to make them happy.

“I want to reiterate the unwavering commitment of the Nigerian government to the wealth of our wounded and injured soldiers.

“We are dedicated to the recovery and rehabilitation in this pursuit and we are eager to collaborate closely with the Invictus Game foundation to extend its vision to all formations within the armed forces of Nigeria.

“The Ministry of Defence understands ongoing sacrifices made by our soldiers in numerous operations against advisors.

“We want to assure them that the government has a recourse program in place to support their recovery in the event of injury,” he said.

The Minister said the country was ready to host the Invictus games, saying the government was enthusiastic about continuing discussion to determine the possibility and necessary modalities.

He gave assurance that the construction of the state of the art invictus center would be completed expeditiously.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, represented by the Chief of Administration, Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor, said the Nigerian Army had a fair share of the number of wounded troops.

Lagbaja said the army had participated in many internal situations operations, as well as peace support operations and peacekeeping missions at home and abroad that had left many personnel either wounded, injured, sick and incapacitated.

He said the army had through the support of the government and the people of Nigeria, ensured continued medical and social psychosocial support both at home and abroad for its wounded service men and women.

According to him, he has approved the sum of N88 million to procure limb protectors for one of the wounded soldiers to be able to upgrade his games. (NAN)

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