The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Sekondi Constituency of the Western Region has elected Charles Hagan popularly known as "Panya" as the parliamentary candidate for election 2020.
Born in Sekondi in 1984, Charles Hagan entered a family fishing business after dropping out of elementary school and rose to become one of the biggest players in the fishing industry in West Africa.
He is currently the Chief Fisherman at the Sekondi Landing Beach.
The party held its parliamentary elections on Saturday 24 August 2019 in almost all the constituencies across the country.
In Western Region, the party held elections in only six Constituencies and they were; Jomoro, Amenfi Central, Amenfi West, Ahanta West, Shama and Sekondi. Western Region has seventeen (17) Constituencies.
At the end of the keenly contested polls held in Sekondi, millionaire fisherman, Charles Hagan emerged victorious. He secured 244 votes to beat his close competitors, Hon. Betty Busumtwe Sam (Former Deputy Western Regional Minister) who had 175 votes and Hon. Charlotte Otua Odoom (Former Mayor of Sekondi) who also had 163 votes.
Prior to his victory, some party members including the Western Regional Organiser, Japheth Baidoo had described him as an illiterate who doesn't fit to lead the party.
Japheth Baidoo said this after the vetting hosted in Ellembelle where according to him the Vetting Committee referred him (Charles Hagan) to the National Executives to disqualify him.
He said Charles Hagan could hardly express himself in the English language which is the medium of exchange of communication in Parliament.
“When he (Charles Hagan aka Panya) appeared before us, we asked him, what is your name? he could not respond, again we asked him how old are you, he could not express himself and when asked lastly, why do you want to contest he could not answer in english.
“This was strange to us and we asked ourselves how such a person can represent the NDC in parliament where serious business takes place, so we have referred the matter to the national secretariat to decide on this development,” the Western Regional NDC Organiser had revealed.
Addressing the charged atmosphere after the declaration of results during Saturday's polls, Charles Hagan gave thanks to Almighty God for the victory and also thanked the delegates for electing him to wrestle the Sekondi parliamentary seat for the party in 2020.
He said even though he faced tough opposition within NDC prior to the polls, but promised to liaise with the rank and file of the party to win the Sekondi seat.
He also said he was going to bring the defeated aspirants together to work as one family ahead of 2020.
According to the 35-year-old commercial fisherman, who is also into oil business, his ultimate goal is to unseat the incumbent NPP MP, Lawyer Andrew Egyapa Mercer in order to usher in a new political leadership aimed at reviving the commercial importance of Sekondi in the Western Region.
He therefore seized the opportunity to reaffirm his pledge to go to Parliament to help promulgate laws and ensure the fishing industry was well regulated.
The Chief Fisherman urged his party members in the area to work hard and rally behind former President John Mahama to wrestle the presidential seat from the incompetent Akufo-Addo-led Government in 2020.
Before his election, he was hailed by some delegates for opening bank accounts for all the Branches within the Sekondi Constituency ostensibly to resource them.