Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that the issue of local government autonomy is not for the National Assembly to address.
Gbajabiamila said this during a two-day leadership capacity training, organised by the Minority Leader of the House, Mr Ndudi Elumelu, for ward councillors from Delta, on Monday in Abuja.
He said that since the process of constitutional amendment was ongoing and the areas of possible amendments thrown open, it was for Nigerians to decide whether to have local government autonomy or not.
“We did it the last time but when we went back to the states, we could not get the required two-thirds. So it is a process and we have followed the process.
“While we were working on constitutional amendment, two-thirds of the states did not agree with us. So it is certain that it is the people that will decide whether they want autonomy for local government or not,” he said.
The speaker, however, said that as responsible lawmakers in the Ninth Assembly, they would continue to do all that was in the overall interest of Nigerians.
Gbajabiamila expressed confidence that at the end of the training, the councillors would have received a lot of education on leadership.
He stated that while some people were born leaders, others acquired leadership, adding, however, that either way, there was the need to go through training to be able to garner necessary experience.
The speaker urged participants to put the leadership qualities they might have acquired from the training to use to maximise their potentials.
According to him, the best place to start exhibiting such potentials is the local government, as that is the bedrock of democracy and the closest to the grassroots.
“It is important to know what it takes to have followers. As leaders, you must understand that you have followers and you have to deal with them on the issues of governance,” he said. (NAN)