Shortly after the Nigerian girls made history as the first ever Africans to make an appearance as bobsled athletes in the 2018 winter Olympics, we heard another joyful noise from Europe of another Nigerian who has signed up in the history book as the first ‘dark skinned’ to become a senator in Italy. The world spotlight came on Mr. Toni Chike Iwobi after he was successfully selected as a senator.
From Nigeria to Plazzo Madama, Tony Iwobi is not a mere man figure. He was responsible for the transformation of the party, among whose midst he has been for 25 years. Let’s dive into the matter and discover this proud Nigerian, who based on his spirited contribution to the country he lives in, has made a clear statement of the stuff Nigerians are made of.
Mr. Toni Iwobi was born on 26th April, 1955 in Gusau northern Nigeria and after spending 38 years in Italy, he became a senator on 4th March 2018.
He is a Nigerian with Italian citizenship of Bergamasco, an IT entrepreneur who became Spirano city councilor in 1995. He later became the party’s immigration manager. Iwobi moved to Italy through a residence permit for study at the University of Perugia.
After three months in Umbria he progressed to Bergamo, a place with an overwhelming presence of the League. Toni quickly fell in love with Bossi’s party, because it was a federal system of government as practiced in his country Nigeria.
Taking advantage of the rise of the Salvinian League, Iwobi succeeded where Fidel Mbanga-Bauna, an Italian journalist failed.
Was Mr Toni just elected as a senator for nought? Not so, his antecedent shows that he is a spirited, hardworking man, who drove the party’s anti-immigrant platform, which proposed measures to make it easier to deport migrants and to refuse to take in refugees rescued by NGOs in the Mediterranean.
In justifying his action, Iwobi insisted the party is not racist.
Commenting on his election, he wrote: “Friends, it is with great emotion that I inform you that I have been elected Senator of the Republic! After more than 25 years of battles in the great family of the Lega, another great adventure is about to begin! My thanks go to Matteo Salvini, a great leader who led the League to become the first center-right force in the country! Then I have to thank my national secretary Paolo Grimoldi, my now former provincial secretary and new deputy Daniele Belotti, the whole team of the department for the work done in recent years, the militants of the great league and all the Facebook friends for their support . I can not forget my family, without them I would not have arrived here today, because they never stopped supporting me and being close to me!