The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Lasun Yusuf, has said the lower legislative chamber of the National Assembly will revisit the issue of devolution of power, an aspect of the constitution amendment.
The Senate and the House of Representatives had earlier voted against devolution of power but the deputy speaker explained that the lawmakers, who voted against devolution of power at the two chambers, were in the minority.
Lasun said this in an interview with journalists in Ilobu, his home town in Osun State on Saturday during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
He stated that those who voted for devolution of power would have won if simple majority vote had been adopted to determine the approval or rejection, saying 220 Reps voted for its approval.
He said the 240 votes needed to approve the proposal fell short by 20 votes, adding that the amendment also failed by the same narrow margin at the Senate.
The deputy speaker explained that the majority of the lawmakers were in support of devolution of power, blaming the lack of interest of the members of the public for the failure of the amendment.
He argued that the lawmakers, who voted against the provision, did so because their constituents did not instruct them to support it during the public hearings.
Lasun added, “Those who don’t want devolution of power are in the minority.
“We would have won if it was by simple majority. Someone asked me why I am supporting devolution of power when I know that I am contesting to be governor in my state and I told him that I am not contesting to sit over the local government money. States will be relieved of burden once the local governments have more power.
“Devolution of power failed because members of the public did not show interest in what we were doing. If they did, they would have discouraged those lawmakers, who voted against it, from doing that.
“But the good news is that we will revisit it when we resume. We are going back to it when we resume.”
Lasun said he was more concerned with the incessant traffic caused by the narrow bridge linking Ilobu with Osogbo, the Osun State capital, and Ogbomoso in Oyo State.
He pointed out that the gridlock informed the decision to award the contract for the construction of a new bridge, valued at N584m, which was captured in the 2016 budget.
Lasun said the same contract was listed in the 2017 budget because the contractor handling the project had just been mobilised by 15 per cent.
He explained that the N1bn listed in the 2017 budget was for the bridge and the construction of the road which is about 28 kilometres from Osogbo to Ilajue, which is the boundary with Oyo State.
The deputy speaker stated that he was contesting the state governorship because he wanted to salvage the bad situation in the state.
Lasun argued that if competent persons shunned the post, the bad situation would degenerate because the charlatans would compound the issues on the ground.
“No matter the situation on the ground in the state, it can be salvaged and I am ready to salvage it,” he added.
The deputy speaker stated that he would focus on agriculture, education, health and vocational skills acquisition to reposition the economy of the state if voted into power.