Why you need to read about Toni Iwobi, the Nigerian immigrant turned Italy’s first black Senator
The 62-year-old Nigerian is a member of the far-right party, Lega Nord with its root in the Northern region of Italy.
Toni Iwobi is one of the most talked about personality in Italy since he emerged the first black individual to take a seat in the country’s Senate.
Since achieving this feat, he has continued to express the reasons immigrants like him should arrive Italy legally as against through the Mediterranean sea or other illegal ways.
The Lega Nord, was founded in 1991 as a federation of several regional parties of Northern and Central Italy, notably including Liga Veneta, Lega Lombarda, Piemont Autonomista, Uniun Ligure, Lega Emiliano-Romagnola and Alleanza Toscana.
The far-right party advocates the transformation of Italy into a federal state, fiscal federalism and greater regional autonomy, especially for Northern regions.
This party is also notable for its inclusion as an anti-immigrant League party, hence, never supported the influx of immigrants into Italy.
Iwobi had joined the party after he was influenced by the personality of Gianfranco Miglio, one of the leading and founding members of Lega Nord.
And in 1993, Iwobi was elected municipal councillor for the party in Spirano, a position he held until 2014.
From 2010 to 2014, Iwobi, who had garnered supporters, also served as assessor with responsibility for social services.
Married to an Italian woman and blessed with two children, Iwobi got into Italy with a student visa in 1970s after completing his degree in economics with specialization in marketing and business management in Manchester, UK.
Iwobi runs a business known as Data Communication Labs in Italy and stated in a recent interview with Guardian that “anybody running away from a country because of conflict and war has to be hosted, but anybody leaving their country for the wrong reason and traveling to others in the wrong way has to be stopped. Immigration shouldn’t cost thousands of lives at sea and neither should it cost a cent to the host country.”
Iwobi’s election comes on the heels of a heated campaign period, in which immigration was a top concern for voters.
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