The News Agency of Nigeria reports that members of the union and people from different walks of life turned out en masse to mark the event in NUJ Press Center, Umuahia.
NNN reports that the celebrant, who was born on April 4, 1939, began practising in 1963 as a photojournalist in Daily Times Newspaper remained active in journalism till date.
In his speech, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia congratulated the octogenarian on his birthday adding that the state government would celebrate him in a special way.
Ikpeazu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi-Kalu, charged journalists in the state to make the celebrant their role model.
The governor described the celebrant as an `honest, diligent and good family man’ who had been able to make a positive impact through journalism, irrespective of the challenges that the job presented.
In his remarks, Mr John Emejor, Abia Chairman of NUJ, said that the union decided to celebrate their own for his hard work, commitment and contributions to the journalism profession.
The chairman said that Akwarandu was the oldest practicing journalist in the state and even in the South East Zone.
Emejor thanked God for keeping the celebrant healthy and strong to mark his 80th birthday, and wished him well in all his endeavors.
In his address, Mr Hyacinth Okoli, the Chairman of the occasion, said the life of the celebrant was a challenge to every practising journalist in the state as he grew from being a photojournalist to a fully fledged reporter.
Okoli said that it was interesting to note that the octogenarian was still covering events and filing news reports at his age, and thanked God for his life.
He described the celebrant as a `simple, jovial and outstanding man’ and urged his children to emulate the sterling qualities of their father.
Responding, Mr Akwarandu, said that he was overwhelmed with joy with the show of love from members of NUJ by celebrating him.
He disclosed that serving God and listening to gospel songs were the secrets of his good health, and prayed for God’s blessings to rest upon everyone that celebrated with him.