Ishaya Mark Aku

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Ishaya Mark Aku
Minister of Sports
In office
February 2001 – May 2002
Preceded by Sango Damishi
Succeeded by Stephen Akiga
Personal details
Died 4 May 2002

Ishaya Mark Aku (died 4 May 2002) was Nigerian Minister of Sports in the first cabinet of President Olusegun Obasanjo. He died in a plane crash in Northern Nigeria.


Aku was born in Plateau State and qualified as a water engineer. He entered the Plateau State civil service, where he held various positions, and was a permanent secretary when appointed Sports Minister. His predecessor as Sports Minister, Damishi Sango, was his kinsman.[1]

Sports Minister[edit]

Aku was appointed Sports Minister in February 2001.[2] He reorganized the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) to become a semi-independent body that relied less on government funding. He disbanded the Super Eagles, the National team, after they performed poorly at the 2002 African Cup of Nations in Mali. He was appointed head of the Supreme Council of Sports in Africa.[1] Working with Chief Patrick Ekeji of the Sports Ministry, Aku started to reduce the emphasis on football and to encourage other sports.[3]


On 4 May 2002, Aku was among 70 passengers on board an airliner that crashed minutes after take-off in Kano. The plane went into a nose dive shortly after take-off and plowed into built-up area, killing many people on the ground.[4] Total dead were over 148.[5] Aku was on his way from Jos to Lagos to watch a friendly match between the Nigerian and Kenyan national teams.[6]


  1. ^ a b Constance Ikokwu and Uzor Odigbo (2002-05-05). "The Man, Aku". ThisDay. Archived from the original on November 26, 2005. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  2. ^ "THE MINISTERS AND THEIR PORTFOLIOS". Online Nigeria. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  3. ^ Patrick Omorodion (Apr 16, 2010). "Sports development: How Bio can benefit from Ekeji". Vanguard. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  4. ^ "Plane crashes in northern Nigeria". BBC News. 4 May 2002. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  5. ^ Bootie Cosgrove-Mather (May 6, 2002). "Anger At Nigerian Crash Site". CBC News. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  6. ^ Ausbeth Ajagu (2002-05-11). "The Ishaya Mark Aku I Knew". ThisDay. Retrieved 2010-05-04. [dead link]