UNICROSS Former Registrar, Mr. Gabriel Beshel Passes On After A Brief Illness

In Breaking News, CrossRiverWatch Podcast, Education, Reports

By Jonathan Ugbal

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Mr. Gabriel Beshel, a former Registrar of the Cross River University of Technology – CRUTECH (now, University of Cross River State – UNICROSS), who led the charge for the change of the institution’s name, has passed away.

Mr. Beshel, 67, died in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, on April 23rd, less than two years after he bowed out of public service.

Nji Egbe, his son-in-law, confirmed his passing in a Facebook post.

“A good man like you doesn’t deserve to die the way you did,” Mr. Egbe wrote, adding that: “While you were on your sickbed, you gave me so much support throughout my mum’s illness, up until when she finally gave up, you stood by us. Your type of father-in-law is not commonly found.”

As Registrar, Mr. Beshel reportedly pushed for the need for the then CRUTECH to become a conventional University. He researched and led the lobby group to members of the ninth House of Assembly of Cross River State. The now sacked House Leader, Hon. Peter Odey sponsored the bill.

During the public hearing, Mr. Beshel proposed that the varsity be named Cross River State University (CRISU) as against the UNICROSS that was promoted. This, he argued, was because the institution had existed in that name before the creation of Akwa Ibom out of Cross River State.

As Grand Patron, he was instrumental in the construction of the Man O’ War training camp on the Calabar main campus of the University. Also, he led the organization of the 6th to 10th combined convocations of the varsity in 2017, drawing the admiration of Governor Ben Ayade.

In 2015, Mr. Beshel became Registrar at 61 after acting for a few months. The then CRUTECH Governing Council failed to appoint a substantive Registrar from the applicants and subsequently confirmed Mr. Beshel despite his age. 

Non-academic staff retires at 65 and the position of Registrar is for a tenure of five years, which meant that Mr. Beshel, despite being the Senior Deputy Registrar at the time, was not able to apply for the job.

He turned 65 on August 29, 2019. But, the varsity’s Governing Council extended his stay by a year for him to complete his tenure.

He retired on August 29, 2020, and handed over to Mr. Victor Ene.

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