Monday, July 02, 2007

You Know Something's Happening When....

The price of machetes drops by half.

It would appear that thuggishness and intimidation are more of a problem than anyone likes to admit in Nigeria during election times:

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.

I've seen some fairly corrupt elections in my time (Russian ones mainly) but I have to admit I would never have thought of such a survey, nor expected quite such a clear result.

An excellent piece of reporting there.

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