Outgoing governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, has urged the people of the state not to address incoming governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola with his Islamic title of ‘Alhaji’.
Aregbesola said the fulfilment of the fifth pillar of Islam, which is the performance of holy pilgrimage in the holy land of Mecca, does not qualify one to be addressed as Alhaji, arguing that the word in Arabic simply translates to stranger.
He stated that pilgrims visiting holy land of Mecca to perform the religious injunction remain strangers, hence the usage of the word to identify them, stressing that such could not be used in their land.
“No any educated Muslim use the word, Alhaji to qualify someone because he has visited the holy land to perform pilgrimage. The word means stranger, and you cannot be a stranger in your own land.
“You are not doing my successor an honour by calling him Alhaji, please, do not call him Alhaji. You can address him in another way but not Alhaji.”
Aregbesola, who was speaking at the commissioning of nine newly upgraded Technical Colleges across the state, however applauded his predecessor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinola for conceiving the idea of the project and executing it to the point of completion.
He emphasised the need for technical education in Nigeria as a way of building a virile economy and creation of employment for the teeming youths.
“We are appreciating former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola for conceiving this idea, in which I promised to complete after showing me the level of completion of the project where all the classrooms were already equipped.
“It is always good to recognise vision, despite political differences between us; we will be offending history if we fail to acknowledge this initiative,” he said.