The Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mr Tunji Bello clocked 56 today, Saturday, 1 July, 2017. To mark the event, his beautiful wife, Professor Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello treated him to a modest celebration at their Ikoyi home.
A political scientist, accomplished journalist and a lawyer, Bello was born on July 1, 1961. He attended the University of Ibadan where he bagged the Bachelor of Science degree with honours in Political Science. Thereafter, he went to the University of Lagos, Akoka for a Masters programme in International Law & Diplomacy. He was back again, to the same University, where he bagged a Bachelor of Law (LL.B Hons), and was called to the Bar after his successful completion of the one-year programme at the Nigeria Law School, Lagos.
His bustling journalism career started with the now defunct Concord Press of Nigeria as a Feature Writer and rose through the ranks as Assistant Features Editor and Political Editor to the position of Editor, Sunday Concord and National Concord respectively. He was also at one time Staff Writer with St. Petersburg Times, Florida, USA and the US News & World Report, Washington, DC in 1992.
Apart from serving as Special Assistant to Bashorun MKO Abiola, winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential election, he became a frontline member of the PRO-DEMOCRACY group that trenchantly fought for the re validation of that electoral mandate from 1993 to 1999.
His activism days dated back to the University of Ibadan when he was the Vice-President of the Students Union. He joined Thisday Newspaper in 2000 as Chairman of its Editorial Board and left in 2003 to serve under the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Commissioner for the Environment.
A multiple award winner: He won the Concord Press award for Journalistic Excellence and Bravery and; Concord Publisher’s Best Editorial Manager: Winner, Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship, USA. He was a recipient of the University of Ibadan Distinguished Alumnus Award and the University of Lagos Distinguished Alumni Achievers Award of Excellence. The Nigerian Society of Engineers, lkeja branch, in recognition of his invaluable contributions to the promotion and sustenance of the environmental engineering at the managerial level, honoured Tunji Bello. Also, the UNDP honoured him in 2012 for laying the foundation for environmental sustenance in Lagos state.
He has authored one book and contributed to four others and was speaker at several international fora. He is a member of International Bar Association (IBA), Member, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and Member, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE).
His name could also be felt in the private sector. He was once a Director in the following companies: Tantalizers Plc. and Vintage Press Limited (Publisher of The Nation newspapers): Tunji Bello was at a point principal partner, Law Alliance, Lagos.
He had his first Public Service experience under Asiwaju Tinubu. In 2010, he became Managing Director, Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency, a capacity in which he was till July 2011 when he came on board of the Governor Babatunde Fashola administration’s train, once again, as Commissioner for the Environment where he meritoriously served till May 29, 2015.
He brought his zeal and passion to contribute to Fashola’s mission and vision on the environment with the beautification of parks and gardens, construction of drainages and canals aimed at de-flooding the state.
In view of his outstanding commitment to the development of Lagos State, he was on May 29, 2015 appointed as Secretary to the Lagos State Government by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, a position he holds till date.
He is married to Professor Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello of the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM) and blessed with three children.