Habib Aruna, Chief Press Secretary, CPS to Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State is easily one of the most visible and exemplary image-makers among media aides to state governors in Nigeria today. This has nothing to do with the strategic position of Lagos State as Centre of Excellence and the most prosperous and dynamic state in Nigeria.
But it has everything to do with Aruna himself who is highly regarded for his professionalism, camaraderie, dedication and industry. This quintessential journalist and strategist who oversees and manages information around Governor Ambode is definitely a square peg in a square hole. Those who say the CPS is tailor-made for his job cite his many virtues which already put him in good stead for his job.
Today, Lagos is widely regarded as the most noticeable and vibrant in the dissemination of information around drivers of government business in the state. Everything that happens in Lagos is not only extensively reported but also presented in a way that provides highlights, insights and perspectives.
Information management in Lagos State also goes beyond conventional reporting and the mundane. Every day, readers, visitors and residents of Lagos are reminded of how important and dynamic a news item could be. There are also lessons on and how a state can make the best of it. Last year, we saw this at Notting Hill Carnival in London. In fact the message at Lagos Corner was thunderous and irresistible. We also saw the positive reporting and the optimistic effect of Lagos at 50 media coverage. Those in and around government circles in Lagos are always quick to point in the direction of the CPS every time any media or adjunct event ends well.
But Aruna does not ascribe these resounding exploits and accomplishments of excellent media and public relations management of Lagos State to himself. Regularly, he reminds anyone who cares to listen that he is only a player in a team because he appreciates the work of others. He insists that it would not have been possible without the support of others.
The CPS is generally seen as a crack reporter who took his job very seriously in his reportorial days. He rose through the ranks to become an Editor at Daily Independent Newspapers. Among journalists, particularly in Lagos State, Aruna is popular because of his friendly disposition to his former colleagues who regularly inundate him with questions and clarifications.
Aruna attended Bayero University, Kano and the University of Ibadan where he obtained a first and second degree in Political Science.