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Former Plateau Gov, Lalong, resigns as Labour Minister, heads to Senate




Former Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, may have resigned from his position as the Minister of Labour and Employment, thus ending weeks of speculations.

One of President Bola Tinubu’s media aides, Imran Mohammad who posted the development on X on Monday, said the President had accepted the resignation while a valedictory will be held at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to formally bid him farewell.

“President Tinubu accepted Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, Resignation from the cabinet, his valedictory will hold next FEC meeting,” Mohammad wrote.

With his resignation from the Cabinet, Lalong will now proceed to the National Assembly as Senator representing Plateau South Senatorial, after the Court of Appeal, on November 7, nullified the election of Napoleon Bali of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and declared Lalong who came a distant second in the February 25 legislative elections as the winner.

Lalong was formally declared a senator after obtaining his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the same day, and is expected to be sworn in later this week by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.

Even before the resignation, there were speculations that Lalong would not last in the ministerial position as he had become quite unpopular with the leadership of organised labour in the country who once boycotted a meeting the minister was to preside over.

There were also speculations that he was going to be one of the first ministers to be sacked by Tinubu after the President had laid down the marker and told his cabinet members he would not hesitate to fire them if they did not perform.

READ ALSO:Plateau PDP rejects tribunal judgment declaring Lalong winner of senatorial election

A source close to the Lalong camp had also hinted that the former Director-General
of the Tinubu Presidential Campaign Council was getting ready to take up his new position in the Senate.

“The Minister will very soon join the Senate. He will go there to ensure that President Bola Tinubu succeeds. The Senate is where the elders are and he wants to join them,” the source was quoted as saying.

“A new younger person will be appointed by Mr President as the Minister representing Plateau State to replace His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment as soon as he resigns.

“You know the role played by the Minister during the campaign; he believes in Asiwaju and is ready to contribute to ensure that the government succeeds,” he added.

Meanwhile, a former House of Representatives member who represented Mikang, Shendam, and Qua’an Pan federal constituency in the National Assembly, Alphonsus Komsol, has urged President Bola Tinubu to replace Lalong with a new minister from the Plateau Central Senatorial Zone for equity.

Komsol, in an open letter addressed to the President on Sunday, stated that his recommendation stemmed from the president’s urgent need to address the numerous concerns in Plateau State concerning inclusion, geopolitics, ethnic balance, equity, and fairness.

“The reason for my selfless suggestion is not far-fetched: It is noteworthy that Lalong is from Plateau South Senatorial Zone, which has produced six ministers since 1999.

“It will only be fair and equitable if a minister is appointed from Plateau Central zone,” part of the letter reads.

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