On the 13th of February, 2011, I posted an article on this blog, entitled: "What will Ghana do to help the people of Japan - in their hour of need?" In it, I mentioned my anxiety about not being able to contact my daughter Michiko and her family.
Today, I am happy to report that I have finally been able to make contact - and that they are all safe and very much alive! My dear Michiko just got back to Akita from Tokyo yesterday, as a matter of fact.
I am grateful to the many readers of this blog, who emailed and telephoned to commiserate with me, when they read the article. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart, for their concern - as do Michiko and her entire family!
Although I am no fan of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), they deserve to be commended for going to see the Japanese ambassador to Ghana, to share their horror at the recent tragic events in Japan and to commiserate with him.
Through the obviously grateful and deeply touched ambassador, they also sent their condolences, to the families of those who perished in that massive earthquake, and the terrifying tsunami that followed almost immediately, in its wake.
The quick reaction of the NPP's leadership, headed by Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, the party's presidential candidate for the December 2012 election, surely puts to shame the government of the flat-footed (in this instance, ie!) National Democratic Congress (NDC), which on the surface of things (as far as one can tell!), has been extremely tardy in this instance, does it not, dear reader?
Alas, monitoring the Ghanaian media thus far, it does appear that the NDC government has no plans to venture beyond conveyance of its shock and sorrow at their plight, to the Japanese government and people. Does that mean that apart from the occasion during the so-called national day of prayer, when President Mills asked for prayers for the victims, as well as for the surviving families, and the Japanese nation as a whole, nothing more practical will be done - to show our solidarity with them?
How can that be - when Japan would have rushed to our aid, if such multiple disasters had struck Ghana, all at once? Surely, we must let the people of Japan know that we share their pain - by a simple and practical widow's mite gesture that we can afford despite our much-straitened circumstances? Mere expression of concern and sorrow, will not do - not when a nation that has been so generous to Mother Ghana over the years, finds itself experiencing such a calamitous moment - and faces a daunting rebuilding challenge.
We can do better than merely expressing our sorrow: and leaving it at that. The question is: When exactly will our slow-but-sure (and hard-of-hearing!) rulers send at least two plane-loads of dark Ghanaian chocolate and other cocoa products to Japan, accompanied by a team from the 48 Engineers Regiment (as some have suggested they do!), as Ghana's widow's mite contribution to the Japanese people, in their hour of extreme need? It is still not too late for the foreign ministry to act to redeem the Mills administration's sunken image in this matter, by so doing.
Above all, the minister who heads that key ministry, must be intelligent enough to understand clearly that it is important that they do not miss the opportunity that such a gesture would provide them, to end our days of infamy and ignominy, as a global super-power in begging-bowl diplomacy, once and for all.
Will that super-clever lot have the nous and gumption needed, to heed free advice humbly offered by a well-meaning patriot, who only wishes their often-irritating and patience-trying regime well, one wonders? Hmmm, Ghana - eyeasem oo: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa!
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