Simon Lalong, the Minister of Labour and Employment, has resigned from his position in President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s cabinet in preparation for his swearing-in as the Plateau South senator.
Having clinched victory in the Plateau South Senatorial election, Lalong is due to be sworn in this week by Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, as per sources familiar with the matter.
A former two-term Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Lalong contested the February Presidential poll as the Director-General of the Tinubu Campaign Organisation but was initially declared the loser by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
However, following his challenge of the result, the Court of Appeal ruled in his favour, overturning the previous verdict.
Lalong tendered his resignation after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, marking his departure from the cabinet, The Nation reported.
Imran Muhammad, a presidential aide, confirmed the acceptance of Lalong’s resignation by President Tinubu. Muhammad also noted that a valedictory session for Lalong will be held at the next FEC meeting.
Sylvanus Namang, the APC spokesman in Plateau State, corroborated Lalong’s resignation from the FEC.
Lalong received his Certificate of Return following the Court of Appeal’s order to issue him the certificate, following the nullification of the election of Air Vice Marshall Napoleon Bali of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In recent consultations between the President and other party leaders with Lalong after receiving the certificate of return, focus centered on his replacement in the FEC.
Party leaders viewed Lalong’s move to the Senate as a significant boost for the APC, enhancing its representation in the Senate and avoiding a supplementary senatorial election that would have followed his resignation.
Lalong’s wealth of experience, having served as the Plateau State House of Assembly Speaker for two terms, is seen as beneficial, positioning him as a de facto ranking senator.