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July 03, 2007

Machetes and the Price of Politics

Here's an excellent little piece of news reporting from a Nigerian newspaper. They went out and talked to the store owners and checked the price of machetes before and after the recent elections:

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.

Perhaps we should add this price to the local statistics monitored by the NGOs? Just as a crash in the price of meat relative to grains is the signal that there's about to be famine amongst the pastoralists so a rise in the price of machetes is a sign of some intimidation going on?

July 3, 2007 in Politics | Permalink

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» Machetes and the Price of Politics: from Pajamas Media
A Nigerian newspaper went out and talked to the store owners and checked the price of machetes before and after the recent elections. It halved in parts of the country because demand from thugs sponsored by politicians has subsided. "Perhaps... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 3, 2007 10:15:10 PM

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