Simon Bako Lalong, a distinguished Nigerian lawyer and politician, held the position of governor of Plateau State from 2015 to 2023.
Bio Data Overview
|Simon Bako Lalong
|Date of Birth
|May 5, 1963
|Shendam, Plateau State, Nigeria
|Ahmadu Bello University (Bachelors in Law), University of Jos (Master's in Law)
|All Progressives Congress (APC)
|Married to Regina Lalong; Children: Stephanie, Naanshak, Tiopsan
|Estimated $100 million
Early Life and Education
Born on May 5, 1963, in Shendam, Plateau State, Nigeria, Simon Lalong's educational voyage began in his hometown. He completed both his elementary and secondary school education in Shendam Local Government Area before advancing to the School of Preliminary Studies (S.P.S) in Keffi. He later secured admission into the renowned Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Law in 1990. His legal journey continued as he was called to the bar after his studies at the Law School in Lagos in 1992. In 1996, Lalong earned a master's degree in Law from the University of Jos.
Simon Lalong's professional journey as a lawyer spanned from 1992, the year he graduated from law school, to 1998, marking the inception of Nigeria's new democratic era. During this phase, he worked with various law firms, co-owning one of them. Between 1992 and 1994, he also served as the Deputy Scribe of the Nigerian Bar Association in Plateau State. After a seven-year political endeavor, Lalong returned to legal practice as the Principal Partner of Simon B Lalong and Co, a role he held until 2015.
In 1998, Lalong ventured into politics, temporarily setting aside his legal practice. He represented the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and successfully contested his native Shendam Constituency, gaining entry into the Plateau State House of Assembly. He went on to become the assembly's speaker in October 2000, holding the position until 2006 after a political turbulence within the House. His seven-year tenure as the speaker marked the longest-serving speaker in Plateau State's history. During this period, he was elected twice (2001–2002) as the Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of the 36 states of Nigeria.
In 2015, as the second term of the incumbent Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang, came to an end, Lalong entered the race to succeed him. This time, he contested under the All Progressives Congress (APC) banner and was inaugurated as the new governor of Plateau State on May 29, 2015.
In the Plateau gubernatorial election of March 9, 2019, and the subsequent Plateau State supplementary Gubernatorial Election on March 23, 2019, Lalong secured reelection as governor with 595,582 votes, surpassing his rival, General Jeremiah Husseini of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), who garnered 546,813 votes. His second term began on May 29, 2019. In the 2023 general election, Lalong vied for the Plateau South senatorial zone seat in the National Assembly but lost to Napoleon Bali, the People's Democratic Party candidate. Subsequently, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu nominated Lalong as a minister representing Plateau State on August 2, 2023.
Beyond his political career, Governor Simon Lalong finds happiness in his marriage to Regina Lalong. The union has been blessed with three children: Stephanie (Daughter), Naanshak (Son), and Tiopsan (Daughter).
Simon Lalong is recognized as one of Nigeria's wealthiest politicians, boasting an estimated net worth of around $100 million. His journey from a legal career to political leadership stands as an inspiring testament to his enduring impact on Nigeria's sociopolitical landscape.