Many things have been said and written about Gambian strong man Yahya Abdul-Azziz Jemus Junkung Diliu Jammeh. He was listed among the horrid and stinking dictators Africa has ever had. He’s renown for his iron fist when it comes to manning a tiny west African country. So too, he likes honours, braggadocios and titles even where he does not deserve. You can see where a string of his fickle titles like “Professor, Doctor, El Hajj” and other emanates.

Despite all above, he recently stole thunder shall his promise not end up being a mere confabulation or something near.

The media recently reported that he is intending to stand down. What a big heart that does not need to be recanted! He won’t seek a fourth term in office after lapsing the third one, the media has reported. This, by all standards, is good and welcome news. Shall he willingly quit, this is but a boost for democracy shall he live up to his words. And indeed this puts him in the group of nobles and statesmen.

We need to congratulate and encourage him for seeing the light. We need to tell him that he should live up to his words as we say go Jammeh go!

Things have changed. Dictatorship does nary pay. In future, thanks to the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC), dictators and vote riggers won’t have a place in Africa, thanks to its prosecution of violence and crimes that dictators have always used and relied upon to cling unto power.

Other dictators need to read from Jammeh new scriptures shall they want to go down nobly. What they’re required to do is read and honour the signs of the time and changes accompanying them, shall they want to live as free bin-Adams after abdicating from office.

Strictly speaking, shall Jammeh live up to his words, he’s likely to beat many so-called democratically-elected rulers whose power was obtained by evil means of bribery, intimidation, scheming, lying , rigging and what not, as it recently happened in Tanzania. Thus, this makes more sense to rulers like Jakaya Kikwete, Mwai Kibaki, Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame, Dennis Sassou Ngweso and Meles Zenawi.

Others that have to deeply and aggressively dive into Jammeh’s scriptures and take a leaf are Robert Mugabe, Theodoro Obiang Ngwema, Blaise Compaore, Muamar Gadaffi, Joseph Kabila, Hosni Mubarak and other many more.

Africa won’t forge ahead without getting rid of a corrupt kit and and caboodle of ramp-fed ronyons and election thieves-in-chief. This cabal of criminals are causing more harm and mayhem for Africans than other enemies such as ignorance, globalization, neo-colonialization and so forth so to speak. The money they are spending on consolidating their power suffices to bring about positive changes to our people. The army of major domos and praise singers they keep and finance won’t help them any more. The money they steal and squander suffices to create harmonious and healthy environment for them and their people to live peacefully and securely instead of living behind fears and arrogance.

Jammeh goes down in history books as the man that saw the light and tomorrow at the right time, shall he not become a turncoat as always politicians, especially rulers have been. The good thing about Jammeh’s new take is the fact that the citizenry almost everywhere in Africa has always been ready and able to forgive. Refer to how Kibaki is currently emulated and honour for ushering the new constitution in and taking on corruption head on.

It is, thus, not too late for the rest to emulate Jammeh’s stance with regards to the future of democracy in his country and Africa in general.

If Jammeh who came to power in 1994 can truly and practically contemplate about leaving the office, what of those that came before him? What of those that messed even more than him? If Jammeh would see his failure, what of others that have even messed a great deal more than him?

Methinks, the reward for those messing up for a long time should be to stand down. Rulers and leaders come and go, but the nation remains and it will remain ad infinitum.

History shows that military rulers who relinquished power willingly have since lived respected and good life altogether. Those enjoying and commanding exemplary lives thanks to ushering democracy in are Mathieu Kerekou (Benin), Abdulsalami Abubakar (Nigeria), Olusegun Obassanjo (Nigeria) and Jerry Rawlings (Ghana). Soon Sekouba Konate of Guinea will proudly come into the big picture shall he keep his zeal and promises. So too, Niger’s military junta can win accolades shall they do what they have been saying with regards to returning democratic elected government in the country.

In a nutshell, shall Jammeh’s vow be put in actions, it needs to be recommended. 

Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He writes regularly for “The African Executive” and also has a blog entitled “Free Thinking Unabii”. He is a regular contributor to AfroSpear.