Usman Masi, a trader quoted by NAN, said: "Before the conduct of the general elections, I was selling a minimum of seven machetes daily but can hardly sell one a day now."

Africa's most populous country returned to civilian rule in 1999 after three decades of almost continuous army rule. 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.