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Nigerian Toni Iwobi elected as Italy’s first ever Black Senator



Nigerian Toni Iwobi elected as Italy's first Black Senator - BellaNaijaItaly has elected its first black senator ever – Nigerian Toni Iwobi.

Iwobi shared the news on his Facebook, writing: “After more than 25 years of fighting as part of the League’s big family, I’m about to start another great adventure.”

Iwobi, 62, moved to Italy about 40 years ago on a student visa. He married an Italian lady and started an IT company, before joining the anti-immigration league.

“Friends, it is with great emotion that I inform you that I was elected senator of the Republic.” he wrote.

After over 25 years of battles in the great family of the league, it is about to start another great adventure. My thanks go to Matteo Salvini, a great leader who led the league to become the first centre-Centre force of the country.

I have to thank then my National Secretary Paolo Grimoldi, my now former provincial secretary and new Congressman Daniele Belotti, the whole team of the department for work done over these years, the great league militants and all facebook friends for their support.

I can’t forget my family, without them I wouldn’t have come here today because they never stopped supporting me and being close to me.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m ready, friends.

Toni Iwobi, before running for senator, according to The Local, had been a municipal councillor in Spirano, and more recently headed Salvini’s national committee on immigration.

Photo Credit: Toni Iwobi


  1. Ovadje

    March 6, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Congrats to him! Over here in his homeland, we are still fighting so-called ‘Indigenes’ vs ‘Settlers’ battles all over the place (Zango-Kataf, Ife-Modakeke, Aguleri-Umuleri, Ogoni-Andoni, etc, etc), even after decades/centuries of cohabitation and co-marriage, and even though no one else can tell us apart. I would cry for my beloved country but I am out of tears.

    • Mohammad

      March 6, 2018 at 10:08 pm

      Maybe you didn’t read in this very same article that him, an immigrant, won his senatorial post on an anti-immigration platform. Not much different from the indigene vs settlers battles you describe tbh.

  2. BlueEyed

    March 6, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    Nothing to celebrate here. How an immigrant can turn around and ride to the top on anti-immigration policies is just Shameless. Bye Mr Toni! You’re irrelevant, and this small success is irrelevant! You are a shameless sell out, at the mercy of white colonizers who still consider you a second class citizen.

    • nnenne

      March 7, 2018 at 1:54 am

      There’s nothing to be ashamed of, really. His own country men cast him out first.
      ( Heard of marginalization?) His country men obviously failed to acknowledge his worth. That, is more shameful than anything else.
      Otherwise, what would a 62 year old Nigerian be doing outside his father land?
      Knowing how Nigerian men actually love their homeland.

  3. Ovadje

    March 6, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Oops! Mohammed, I must confess that I missed that line…

  4. Las

    March 7, 2018 at 12:23 am

    His picture should be next to the word irony in the dictionary.

  5. OA

    March 7, 2018 at 3:11 am

    Wondaful! I have zero respect for any immigrant, even second generation ati be be lo, who parade anti immigration policy as if they didn’t benefit from the opposite. Good luck being a “senator” in Italy of all countries. Your seat in the House will be in the back and your votes will not count. Gara ni yen!

  6. Triplen

    March 7, 2018 at 11:18 am

    There are some Nigerian immigrants here in the US too with that “let me in but shut the door behind me” mentality. It really is sad and confusing to watch their hypocrisy.

    • Ibi

      March 7, 2018 at 8:13 pm


  7. omomo

    March 7, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    The very same immigrant policy that was extended to him to be able to stay in Italy is what he is now against …talk about irony …no applause from me

  8. larz

    March 7, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    I am now cautious of tagging immigrants that support anti immigration movements. After Brexit, I was upset by the very idea of any immigrant esp of Nigerian origin voting against immigration. However, I recently I spoke to a Nigerian lady friend over Christmas. Some anti immigration people are not against immigration but of setting adequate controls in place governing the process.

    According to this lady, most of us (or our parents) had to get a job, integrate into the country and exempt from benefit for a few years before we get full status. Think about the Nigerians you know that moved abroad. they either go through legal route of finding a job, obtaining a visa, working and being residence for a few years, passing and exam about knowledge of the country and / or an English literacy course and then they are sworn in and made citizens. Even those that smuggled into the country, paid their dues somehow.

    With the EU immigrants, they by-pass all these and goes straight to being treated as they would a citizen. As a result, most result to abuse of these privileges. Majority of them came from countries where benefits are means tested or are more stringent.

    After this conversation, I understood where she was coming from but I didn’t fully agree with her. Because in my own opinion, the problem isn’t the open borders but because lack of controls with government ensuring a better overhaul of benefits system. She has been lured by the typical government campaign that is shifting the spotlight from their inadequacies to an external factor as the problem.

    PEOPLE (including immigrants) voted for Trump, BREXIT, German election (taking votes from liberal MERKEL). I remember in the TV show black-ish, they addressed a popular myth that black people CANT vote republican. It is things like this that leads to surprising election results. Because they have had concerns for a while now which they weren’t allowed to voice them. What if people are allowed to voice contrary believes and speak their mind. Who knows whether the debate will encourage people focus on the real issues and not the red herrings. Maybe the outcomes of these election wouldn’t have changed but at the very least, we would have understood better the possible outcome of the elections instead of being surprised by it.

    I am definitely surprised that an ex-immigrant is now campaigning in an anti-immigration group. I am more interested in the WHY rather than the headline because I suspect the decision wouldn’t have been made lightly.

    • Damo Aliogo

      March 8, 2018 at 10:19 am

      Larz I see your point about your lady friend, I have heard this point of view a lot too, not only from Nigerians but even from Commonwealth citizens, like Aussies, Indians, kiwis etc. The point they are missing is that the EU has 4 main components with freedom of goods and persons as part of it. That is the EU’s rule and UK as part of the EU had to adhere to it. Commonwealth citizens were against the system because the system did not benefit them directly, as they are not from any EU member state country logically. However, Same way Europeans do not have freedom of movement in the ECOWAS subregion in West Africa. It seems some people not all totally missed the point and voted against peoples luck. What I found worrying in the Brexit vote was that non-white Brexiters had to share the same platform and collude with xenophobes and racist, these white people in the 60s-80s who were openly racist towards the arrival of Africans and Asians to the UK. That’s why the day after Brexit, black people were being told to go back home, even those born in the UK. With the Brexit vote, the racists won.

      Check this out, All the Racists voted Brexit, but not all Brexiteers are racists. I live in a Brexit area. The same people that told my mother to go back to Africa in the 80s were the same people that voted Brexit.

  9. jankara

    March 7, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    “As head of the party’s national committee on immigration, he helped write the League’s anti-migration platform, in which it proposed among other things to make it easier to deport migrants, to use economic incentives to get countries to agree to repatriate their nationals from Italy, to refuse to take in migrants rescued by NGOs from the Mediterranean.”……as reported about him on cable news

  10. Ibi

    March 7, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    I can only laugh. How dumb is that. Wearing a “stop the invasion” when you yourself are “an invader”. Lead by example, now // and go back to where you came from. SMH. I’m sorry but yeye dey smell. You went on a student visa, married an Italian….so you gamed the system. I do not like illegal immigration but it is galling to see an immigrant who obviously wanted a better lot in life now touting himself as anti-immigrant


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