Labour Minister Lalong may quit Tinubu’s cabinet

Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, has picked up his certificate of return as Senator of Plateau South in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

Lalong, a two-term governor of Plateau State, had contested but lost the February 25, 2023 election.

The Independent of National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Napoleon Bali of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the election.

Dissatisfied with the outcome of the elections, Lalong had headed for the tribunal, which ruled in his favour.

Delivering judgment, chairman of the three-member panel, Justice Mahmoud Tukur, held that the votes scored by the PDP candidate in the election were wasted votes as he was invalidly nominated

The judgment held that as of the time of the nomination, the PDP had no valid structure in the state.

Bali had rejected the result of the tribunal and filed an appeal.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Elfaida Williams-Dawodu, the appeal court upheld the tribunal’s verdict, saying the votes cast for the PDP candidate were unlawful.

Justice Williams-Dawodu ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Bali and give a fresh one to Lalong.

On Thursday, Lalong stormed the INEC headquarters in Abuja, alongside some of his associates, to pick up the certificate, which was presented to him by Mohammed Haruna, a National Commissioner.

After this, he took to his Twitter handle to say, “Today I received the certificate of return at the INEC Headquarters from the National Commissioner Mohammed Haruna.”

His action shows he might quit his role as Labour minister, which has been problematic as a result of the running battle with Labour leaders, the last which led to a nationwide strike as a result of the assault on Joe Ajaero, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Owerri, Imo State.

Ironically, David Umahi, a former governor like Lalong, had quit the senate to join the cabinet of President Bola Tinubu.

Daily Trust

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