Yemisi Izuora/Agency Report
A Nigerian man, Toni Iwobi, who has been living in Italy since the 1970s, has been elected as the country’s first black senator. Iwobi, who was born in Gusau in Northern Nigeria, is the chief immigration spokesman for the far-right League party in Italy, a party which has been accused of stirring up xenophobia. He announced on his Facebook page that he had been elected to the senate in Italy’s general election, The Local reports. It was reported that Iwobi’s party was elected in the industrial city of Brescia in Northern Italy – a major immigration hub.
Following the election, Iwobi said on Facebook on Tuesday, March 6: “It is with great excitement that I can tell you I have been elected senator… A new adventure is about to begin.” Iwobi has been supporting the League for more than two decades and used the campaign slogan #StopInvasion – a reference to the more than 690,000 migrants who have landed on Italian shores from North Africa since 2013. According to Iwobi, illegal immigration into Italy has led to an increase in racism. He said in January: “Discrimination begins when there are no rules and the state… lets anyone in. Illegality leads directly to violence and a racist response. The League supports healthy and controlled immigration which can act as a bulwark against racism.”
62-year-old Iwobi travelled to Italy on a student visa 40 years ago. He married an Italian woman and started his own IT company in Italy.
A United Kingdom-based Nigerian university lecturer, Dr Adebisi Adewole, who is also the managing editor of African Pulse Magazine, seven people of Nigerian origin were elected members of the British Parliament According to him, Nigerians across the UK are excited over the development, adding that the elected MPs success appears justified as they have broken various forms of historical barriers.