BARELY few hours after he was sworn in as the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Dapo Ambode performed his first official duty by appointing four of his key officials.
The four key officials are Mr. Tunji Bello, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Samuel Olukunle Ojo, the Chief of Staff to the Governor (COS), Mr. Abiodun Bamgboye, the Principal Private Secretary to the Governor and Mr. Habib Adamson Aruna, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.
Mr. Tunji Bello, the newly appointed Secretary to the State Government (SSG), was born on July 2, 1961. He has been around Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, since 2003, when he was first appointed Commissioner for The Environment by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was the governor. In 2007, he could not make the cabinet because he insisted he must be given the same portfolio (Environment) he held in the previous administration which had been given to Dr. Muiz Banire. He was later made the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASSAA).
In Fashola’s second term in 2011-2015, he was back to his old beat (Environment) when he was appointed the Commissioner again. He also made a feeble attempt to join the gubernatorial hopefuls in the state until when he read the handwriting on the wall.
When Ambode eventually emerged the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, he was one of the four people touted as his deputy before it was eventually given to Mrs. Oluranti Adebule. The others then are Engineer Ganiyu Johnson and Hon. Abdullateef Abdulkareem.
Mr. Tunji Bello, who is a journalist and lawyer, is married to Professor Ibiyemi Bello, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos.
Mr. Samuel Olukunle Ojo, the new Chief of Staff to the Governor has also been around Lagos Secretariat, Alausa (the seat of power) for a long time as a civil servant.
He was born on April 23, 1956. He joined the Lagos State Civil Service in 1987 as an accountant after his graduation from University of Lagos, Akoka, 1980. He became Chief Accountant in 1996, Assistant Director in 1999 and Director in 2004. Mr. Ojo was the head of the account section of the Office of the Governor for several years until May 2006, when he was appointed Permanent Secretary, Office of the Chief of Staff, a position he occupied before his latest appointment as the Chief of Staff to the Governor on Friday, May 29, 2015 by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
Mr. Abiodun Bamgboye is the Principal Private Secretary to the Governor.
He graduated from University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State. He was a teacher before he moved from the teaching service commission into the mainstream civil service commission.
He was for several years Personal Assistant to Mr. Adesegun Ogunlewe, the former Head of Service (HOS) Lagos State. He was also a regular face at most civil service functions within the secretariat where he usually served as compere.
Mr. Bamgboye who is most likely to be promoted a director this year was till his appointment the Private Secretary to Mrs. Folashade Jaji, the Head of Service.
Mr. Habib Adamson Aruna is the newly appointed Chief Press Secretary to the Governor. He was till his appointment one of the co-owners of Upshotreportonline, a blog he owns with his friend, Mr. Mojeed Jamiu.
Prior to setting up the blog, he was the Editor of Sunday Independent newspaper. He resigned as the editor of the paper in November 2014, when the management of the newspaper redeployed him as the Editor of Special Projects, because he was giving too much prominence to APC in the Sunday paper that he edited.
Mr. Aruna is a graduate of Political Science from Ado Bayero University, Kano, and University of Ibadan, Ibadan, where he bagged his Masters degree.
He started his journalism career with The Guardian newspaper as a cub reporter. He later moved to Daily Independent newspaper as a correspondent. He later became the Political Editor of Daily Independent newspaper, the News Editor and Editor, Sunday Independent.
– TOLANI ABATTI