“By doubting we come to question, and by questioning, we perceive the truth.”
(Peter Abelard, 1079-1142)
Perceptor’s Guide to Political Parties: How To Categorize Them
These days Perceptor hardly has any questions at all. It isn’t so much (ahem,) that Perceptor knows everything … (surely not, you cry!)
… but Perceptor thought that with the elections coming up, you might have some questions yourselves! And because every hand has to be on deck for these elections, Perceptor has decided to put Perceptor’s shoulder to the wheel and answer some of Your Own Questions. Questions that you never knew you wanted to ask. Especially about all these political parties. There are so many of them! And they all have so many different combinations of initials! Well, while remaining true to the ‘Initials’ theme, Perceptor has decided to SIMPLIFY the whole thing.
Basically, Perceptor has divided the parties into certain categories. There are the MOPs with their sub-division, the GOPs; the FOPs, not to be confused with the FFOPs or the FAPs which are a sub-division of the PLOPs and the PROPs, although the PLOPs are actually APOKs. There are also the TAPs and the TOPs. There are some other categories of political party. But these are the main ones.
Perceptor hopes that that is clear?
No? OK, Perceptor will explain further.
MOP = My Own Party. A MOP can be formed right from the beginning by a political person who just wants to be President, but it can also be formed when a political leader discovers that his original party is just Not On His Side. For example, when his original party loses an election and wants to make a deal with the winning party while he is still fighting the battle of the lost election, said political leader decides that from now on, he’s going to Be In Charge. So he forms a MOP.
The GOP = God-botherers’ Own Party is usually a sub-division of the MOP, and it can contain just one God-botherer. Or it can contain two.
The FOP = Family Owned Party might start off looking like an all-comers’ party, but once all the comers have all come in, they discover that if they don’t belong to one of the Families, they are very unlikely to get any nice or juicy positions. When this discovery is made, the FOP can sometimes turn into a FLOP. (No. not an acronym. Just a Flop.)
The FOP must not be confused with the FAP. A FAP is a Family Affair Party. What that means is that however many people get killed, stabbed in the back, or manoeuvred out of nice and juicy positions, it’s all taken care of in the Family. Because wherever you come from, and whoever your father is or is not, everything is a Family Affair.
In fact the FAP is often pretty much the same as a PLOP (= Political Leaders Own Party). But it can sometimes attract people who see it as a PROP (= Political Returnees Own Party). This error is understandable because sometimes, while the Family Affairs are being sorted out, some members of the Family might stray into other parties such as a MOP or a FOP. Or even a TOP (see below). But sooner or later, they drift back into the PLOP. Because it really IS a FAP. And as everybody knows, your Family are the people who, when you turn up at the door, they have to take you in.
TOP you ask? TOP = Tribally Organised Party. Even if you are a member of the FAP, you might sometimes find it necessary to parachute into a TOP in order to get some political relevance and win an election. But that is OK. You can always return to your PROP. Because it is a FAP.
It is important not to confuse a TOP with a TAP. TAP = Trying Again Party. This is the party for people who never succeed, but who are staunch believers in the philosophy that “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and Try Again!”
Another category is the FFOP, that is, the Familiar Faces Own Party. These are the people who form a different party for every election hoping that everybody who only has a small party, such as a MOP, a FOP or a TOP, will see sense and join together with them in a huge enormous great party. Voters can get confused because they keep on seeing these different parties and thinking that there might be something new, but then when they look closer, they see the same old Familiar Faces. Because it often turns out that the people in the MOPs, FOPs and TOPs either want to run their own show, or they want to be in the party that is going to WIN.
That party is usually a PLOP or a PROP. Because as its members are fond of saying, as long as we WIN, APOK. Any Party is OK. So long as we WIN.
Perceptor’s Guide to State Governors: How to Tell Them Apart
Perceptor recognises that this can be quite difficult. You, gentle reader, might have thought that one obvious way was to refer to the political party on whose platform they came to power. But even with Perceptor’s almost comprehensive guide above, the answer is … er, not really.
For example, even though they are in different parties, the Doctor Governor and the Little Governor have both issued ‘No Voter’s Card, No Salary’ orders. Of course, this plays right into the hands of those who are making money out of the voter registration exercise – from outright ‘card for cash’, to ‘we need money for ink/paper/pens etc.’ and sale of ‘places’ on the queues for which numbers just happen to be being issued by voter registration officials. Now those vampires know that you can’t just tell them to get stuffed if they don’t want to do their job and register you …
Breaking News!!! Breaking News!!! Breaking News!!!
Perceptor has had to interrupt this important guide to the political process and the coming elections with an even more important piece of broken news. Perceptor recognises that the Guide is a public service of vital importance and that without it nobody will be able to understand the coming polls, but Perceptor considers it even more vitally important to bring this broken news to you at once in case it affects You! Especially if you are called, for example, Igbenedion or something.
The important news report is headlined: “FG’ll sustain anti-graft war – Sambo” Perceptor knows that you will be as thrilled as Perceptor was (well, unless you happen to be unLucky) to learn that this bold commitment was demonstrated when Vice President Nnamadi Sambo LAID THE FOUNDATION STONE of the new building of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Abuja!!! VP Sambo declared that the building was “… a message that perpetrators of corruption, no matter their rank or position in society, will be exposed and brought to justice. There will be no sacred cows.”
OK, Perceptor knows that a new building (For Which A CONTRACT Must Have Been Awarded) isn’t by itself going to actually fight corruption, and Perceptor also knows that some of you be surprised to learn that the Federal Government is involved in an anti-graft war let alone sustaining one. Perceptor realises that it is PEOPLE who are going to fight corruption, not buildings.
WHICH IS WHY Perceptor is delighted to see that even before the foundation stone was laid, the Attorney-General of the Federation had taken up the cudgels in the battle against corruption. Yes! The day before the foundation-laying story appeared in the papers, we learned that Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke SAN, the FA-G, took over the prosecution of the totally ordinary and unsacred Minister of State for Cows. Er, Perceptor’s mistake! Perceptor means Minister of State for Health, Mallam Suleiman Bello, and four other Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, who had been charged at the High Court of Adamawa State in Yola for allegedly collecting a N11.8 million bribe from Governor Murtala Nyako during the 2007 general elections.
Yes, yes, Perceptor knows that the case was already being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and that Bolaji Ayorinde SAN is as much a SAN as the FAG. Perceptor still thinks that it shows the absolute commitment of the Federal Government to fight the anti-graft war. Perceptor refuses to believe that when the case involving bribes from Governor Nyako of Adamawa State started, Nyako was making nice with Atiku ‘consensus candidate’ of the ‘North’ Abubakar for the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential ticket, or that now that Atiku has lost that battle (not least because Adamawa State delegates for some reason didn’t vote for him) the FAG is taking over the case so that the whole issue of bribery by Governor Nyako can be conveniently forgotten. Perceptor absolutely refuses to believe that there is anything but the utmost good faith behind the FAG’s taking over of the case.
But then, Perceptor also refused to believe that the arrest of Senate Majority Leader Teslim Folarin for murder had anything to do with the PDP primaries in Oyo State either. Or that his release had anything to do with the PDP national convention …
Perceptor is so innocent and trusting that way.