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Azumini Blue River: Beautiful and alluring river of the mermaids

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By Richard Ihediwa with agency reports

You can talk of the blue sea; but ever seen a blue river? Of course there is and it is in Nigeria. It is the Azumini Blue River. This beautiful river, which has become one of the major tourist attractions in the country, flows from the southern part of Abia state to the fringes of Akwa-Ibom state.
It is called “The Blue River” because no other river in Nigeria is as clear and blue as it is. Aesthetically pleasing, and surrounded by beauty and nature, lush greens and cool water, the blue river also shows a more wild and dangerous side, especially where it reaches the majestic rapids.
At the rapids is the breathtaking scenery that is part of its center of attraction.
Azumini Blue River offers tourists the greatest opportunity to explore Nigeria’s natural settings in a more urbanized way.
The water is so crystal clear that one can see and try counting all the fish clearly seen swimming around. The waters are in fact so clear you can see the fish from the bridge.
The river color appears as sparkling blue aqua marine (like the beautiful Caribbean sea of the Bahamas). One could see all the way to the white sandy bottom of the river several feet deep, even under moonlight.
The river is most beautiful especially when the bright sunlight glistens on this river, it is pure immaculate. One can also see the very bright colourful stones and of its bed from the surface. The stones are so clear and clean that the Aba Glass industry uses them as raw materials for their products.
Along with the crystal blue waters comes canoe rides and comfortable sandy beaches where you can choose to lie for hours on end. There are chairs and tables for picnickers as well as barbecue grills ready for the preparation of tasty fish meals.
At the beach, tourists are trilled by birds doing acrobatic swoop into the river to get their meals.  Also young locals are seen doing amazing acrobatic dives into the river to add to the fun.
Archeologists who have studied the area have determined it is 15 m above sea level. Although flat, nature has ensured that the river is kept well drained. The river valleys are steep with 1 in 20 gradients. It has three major stretches: they are Mini Obuaku, Mini Ogigo and Aba to Samanga.
It is held that the blue river was one of the major reasons, or perhaps the major reason, why Azumini ancestors settled in the present location after they left their original home in central/eastern Ijo (Ijaw) as captured in history.
The blue river’s significance as a tourist attraction can hardly be overemphasized. Its tourist value is recognized, and promoted by Nigeria’s tourism industry as one of the 70 tourist sites in Nigeria.
Also, Abia state has listed the river among the first two of its state tourist sites.
Already it has gained serious international recognition. Worldfish Center-Fishbase Project located in Philippines have used this river for its research with some noted successes.
Also an International Primates Conservation group made a very telling discovery of a once considered extinct primate called C. Sclateria primate on the banks of this river. 
This river mostly has remained as virgin as it was when the forebears came upon it. Legends have it that on some rare occasions on a bright sunny day the “Mamiwater” (Mermaid) can be seen splashing in the beautiful river. However, there have been no official reports to confirm this.
On the whole the Azumini Blue River is surely a place you will visit and not forget. When next you want to unwind with breathe taking scenery, Azumini might be the place.

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