Those who follow my writings and comments on twitter, Sahara Reporters and this blog are well aware of my mantra: "Nigeria, nay Africa, cannot progress without holding a National Conference".
Some have been upset by my insistence on this point, in particular those who envision a conference where different groups complain and drag up shameful aspects from the past that vested interests would rather see silenced.
Others who are focused on their personal "unity" and "power to the people" projects may - understandably -be concerned that the reopening of old wounds and the potential realignment of 'progressive' forces along tribal-religious fault lines may spell doom for their 'vision'.
Regardless of the reason for avoiding the debate, opponents of independent African nations holding sovereign national conferences are proving to be as blind to the real issues that plague the continent as the leaders they take joy in castigating, reprimanding and upbraiding.
I will use Nigeria - as I often do - as my case study here, but the lessons and suggestions are equally applicable to any African country that has not had a citizen body gather to answer the age-old question that has bothered many a nation - Quo Vadis (Where Do We Go)?