By Chinenye Iwuoha

I’m the adventurous type, I like visiting places, meeting people and listening to their stories. I like hearing people speak their mother tongue even when I don’t understand, it helps me appreciate nature.

From the day I heard Dee Paddy talk about the tourism to Azumini blue River in Ukwa East LGA Abia state, I indicated interest and I’m happy I got a slot. My countdown started till that 6th March. I’m not given to lateness, my Dad taught me that, my work fine tuned it. I arrived the take off venue on time and met both the vehicle and other tourists on ground. If you have appointment with Mr. Paddy Anyatonwu, you better stick to time else you miss out.

I easily make friends though I can’t say I keep friends, so I easily bonded with the lovely lively folks on ground though I knew only two faces aside Dee Paddy.

We took off and stopped over at a primary school in Aba where the second coaster bus joined us. We took some pictures and continued the trip by then the atmosphere was charging with excitement as almost all of us were going there for the first time. Imagination on our minds….I’m sure you get the feeling.

The quiet coaster bus where people initially behaved like those flying first class later erupted with discussions and arguments on the existence or none existence of LOVE….hmmm, I listened. I’m a good listener cause I pick my work tools listening to people talk. Noisy but I enjoyed the session. The main person who was urging them to talk and lively up the atmosphere had gone to the other vehicle when the talk began, I wish he stayed to listen.

We arrived in less than no time and met the amiable President General of their town union, Dr. Idah Felix Waboso who received us and took us to the Palace of His Royal Highness Eze (Prof)Edward Ebere Eule PhD, Enyenweali X Azumini Ndoki Autonomous Community Ukwa East LGA, Abia state. Nice to be among the few that entered the Palace and got the blessings of Enyenweali before proceeding to the tourist sites.

The blue River is a sight to behold, nature’s asset to Azumini people, Abia state, Nigeria, Africa and the world. I looked with nostalgic admiration as I listened to stories about the river which was a route of the infamous slave trade. It was mixture of feelings when I learnt King Jaja of Opobo was ferried through that River. I imagined that possibly, he walked that ground where I stood, perhaps with the hope of returning someday but never did……heii let me not go there. I have special love,respect and regards to King Jaja of Opobo thus the mere mention of his name having been to that River made me fall in love with the trip the more.

Let’s leave it here and continue the story next time….. Azumini people have a rich culture which our tour guide took time to educate us. The dos and don’t at the River, the natural resources in those rivers, the six natural beaches, their special local drink…eteete, the fresh palm wine, periwinkles, fishes and lots more will come in our subsequent posts.

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