ABUJA (Reuters) - 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.
“A price survey on machetes, which served as a popular weapon among political thugs in the state, indicated ... a drop in the price of the implement,” NAN reported over the weekend.
Machetes are primarily used as a tool for farming in Nigeria but they are also popular among political gangsters.
“Before the conduct of the general elections, I was selling a minimum of seven machetes daily but can hardly sell one a day now,” said Usman Masi, a trader quoted by NAN.
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.