By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday met with a Nigerian, Toni Iwobi, who has lived in Italy for 41 years and emerged the first blackman ever to be elected senator in the European country.
Iwobi, on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, met with President Buhari, along with a high-powered team from the Italian Senate.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari congratulated Iwobi, who was elected in March this year, on the platform of far-right League Party.
“It shows the advanced respect of Italians for human beings, in spite of colour. It’s very impressive,” Buhari reportedly told Iwobi.
According to Adesina, the Italian team discussed issues such as illegal migration and possible solutions through investments in Africa, the recharge of Lake Chad via inter-basin water transfer, among others.
“Africa doesn’t need charity, but collaboration to develop,” Iwobi was quoted to have said.
He said Buhari in response, said irregular migration from developing to developed countries was often caused by insecurity, education, health care, and climate change.
Adesina quoted the president as saying, “Climate change has had negative impact on a big country like Nigeria.
“That is why our youths often defy the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea, to try and get to Europe. It is a problem that needs to be solved.”
The statement added that the Italian Senate delegation was planning to visit Nigeria soon.