By Joe Akwarandu, Umuahia
Abia state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has extolled the sterling qualities and virtues of veteran journalist and current correspondent of Orient Daily newspapers in Umuahia, Elder Josiah Enyi Akwarandu, popularly known as De Joe as he celebrates his 80th birthday and 43 years in journalism practice.
The governor was represented by the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu (JOK) during a birthday party organised in honour of the journalism Icon by his family in collaboration with the state chapter of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) held at the NUJ Press Center Umuahia.
Governor Ikpeazu noted that every good man or woman deserved to be celebrated while alive.
Ikpeazu, while challenging younger journalists to emulate the exemplary qualities of diligence, honesty and care for his family which the celebrant is known for, prayed God to continue to keep him strong in his service to humanity.
Speaking earlier, the chairman of the occasion and Director, News and Current Affairs in the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia state (BCA), Comrade Hyacinth Okoli, described the celebrant as a man of uncommon humility and thorough professional journalist, who showed his dexterity in all areas of the journalism profession.
Comrade Okoli urged the children of the celebrant to emulate those sterling qualities of their father, describing him as a simple, jovial and outstanding man.
On their goodwill remarks, the chairman of Abia Warriors Football Club Umuahia, Pastor Emeka Inyama, the state chairman of NUJ, Comrade John Emejor, the Chapel chairman of the state Correspondents of NUJ, Comrade Obinna Ibe, Kingsley Ugorji of Abia Newspapers, Comrade Peter Okore of Hallmark Newspapers, amongst others noted that Elder Joe Akwarandu is a resourceful person and wished him more fruitful years.
In his response, the celebrant, Elder Josiah Enyimba Akwarandu, who is the oldest practising journalist in the state, said that he was overwhelmed by tributes from the governor and his colleagues and thanked God for seeing him through the huddles and challenges which characterized his early life. He advised journalists to see themselves as the mirror of the world and imbibe the virtues of perseverance as they discharge their duties to humanity.
The event which attracted many journalists both practising and retired, media professionals, friends and well wishers, featured cutting of birthday cake, toast and raising of pen by journalists in honour of their colleague and celebrant.