Price Of Machetes Drops After Elections

Reuters, July 2, 2007

The price of machetes has halved in parts of Nigeria since the end of general elections in April because demand from thugs sponsored by politicians has subsided, the state-owned News Agency of Nigeria reported.

NAN surveyed prices in the northeastern state of Gombe and found that a good quality machete was now selling for 400 naira ($3) compared with 800 naira before the elections, which were marred by politically motivated violence in many states.

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Machetes are primarily used as a tool for farming in Nigeria but they are also popular among political gangsters.

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Africa’s most populous country returned to civilian rule in 1999 after three decades of almost continuous army rule but violence remains a feature of politics, especially during the build-up to elections.

European election monitors estimated that at least 200 people were killed in politically motivated violence during months of campaigning ahead of the April polls.

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