- Simon Lalong, Minister of Labour, faces a dilemma on whether to transition to the Senate or remain in his current role
- Lalong reflects on his political future after an electoral dispute, expressing confusion and seeking guidance from supporters
Simon Lalong, the Minister of Labour and Employment and former two-term governor of Plateau State, finds himself at a crossroads, grappling with whether to transition to the Senate or maintain his current position within President Bola Tinubu’s cabinet.
Lalong faced electoral defeat on February 25, 2023, with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaring Napoleon Bali of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner. Undeterred, Lalong contested the outcome at the tribunal, which ultimately ruled in his favour.
However, the PDP candidate, Bali, challenged the tribunal’s decision and filed an appeal. In a significant verdict delivered by Justice Elfaida Williams-Dawodu, the appeal court affirmed the tribunal’s stance, deeming the votes for the PDP candidate as invalid. Consequently, Justice Williams-Dawodu directed INEC to revoke Bali’s certificate of return and issue a fresh one to Lalong.
Last month, Lalong and associates visited the INEC headquarters in Abuja to collect his certificate. In a video shared by online TV SYMFONI, Lalong expressed his dilemma before a gathered crowd.
Lalong shared, “Each time I am with him (a comrade), he will remind me that, please don’t go to the Senate, please remain with us at the Ministry of Labour. Maybe that is not what my constituency will also say because as I am now, I am a very confused man, because whether to go left or go right but pray for me to make the best decision.”
He continued, “If I remain with you, I will remain as a comrade, but if I go there. I told comrade Oshiomhole, I said they mentioned you to go and speak on behalf of the Labour. I said no, Comrade Aremu should speak. They said ‘why?’, I said as a senator, I think you have partly committed class suicide. You may be shifting a bit, but we will not confirm that you are intact until we see you after four years. So it is only that time that we will know whether you have committed class suicide or you are still within as a comrade.”
In this political contemplation, Lalong’s decision-making process unfolds, leaving both his political future and the direction of his service in the balance.