Tony Iwobi proves that kicking the ladder from behind you as you climb is a Nigerian trait

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Tony Iwobi

The news has emerged that Tony Iwobi, the first Black senator in the history of Italy, has warned illegal immigrants to stay away from Italy, as he promises that the country plans on being tough on illegal immigration.

A member of the Italian anti-immigration far-right league, Tony Iwobi migrated to Italy from Nigeria on a student visa, got married to an Italian woman and then naturalised to become an Italian – thus able to contest election into the Italian Senate.

The facts thus far speak for themselves. Firstly, he is right wing. This should come as no surprise, many Black people are very conservative in their politics. Secondly, he is a senator, which means that part of his duty must be to protect the interests of the country. He can hardly be heard saying “Yeah, feel free! Jump the fence, dive off a boat, I don’t care, mate! Let’s all have a big party!” This makes his stand on illegal immigration unsurprising too.

What is surprising, however, is how Nigerians have reacted to it. Many are outraged at what seems to them a betrayal of their own kind. They feel he’s used the Italian system to make life better for himself, and has now started barking at his own kind, believing that he is now superior.

And they’re right. Tony Iwobi did take advantage of the Italian system. He did travel on a student visa, and then stayed, married an Italian woman (convenient, I’m sure), and is now speaking emphatically against people who are most likely running from the same things that made him leave Africa all those years ago. Honorable students return upon expiration of their student visas and put their new-learned knowledge to use. Ooooorrrrr…they marry into citizenship, I guess. But I digress.

What was surprising to me about the public outrage was that they even felt any of it. Kicking the ladder once you’re in is a Nigerian speciality. Even things that have no tangible rewards are still coveted and hidden once acquired.

People join a Facebook group, and within two weeks start braying about “Small is better! I really think we should cap the number of people we allow into this group!”

My brethren get into a comfortable job, seat on the bus, or even a plot of land, and soon you hear cries of “Abeg, here don full o! Mek una close am, mek e be only we-we!”

This is our stock-in-trade. This is our raison d’être. You would be shocked (or perhaps not) at the number of Nigerians who were vehemently pro-Brexit! The irony of it!!

We blame the government until we get a sniff of power, and then we’re worse. We spend hours in church/mosque pleading for mercy, and then go home to flog hell’s bells out of a house help. The only time we ever fault this process is when we are on the receiving end.

Marriage may have given Senator Iwobi a burgundy passport, but, from his utterances, his soul is still very much green white green. And you gotta love consistency, right?

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