KOMPAS.com – When Papua governor Lukas Enembe went through back roads on his jaunt across the border to the Papua New Guinea town of Vanimo for a traditional foot massage on Wednesday, March 31, the trip seemed like the perfect antidote for his frayed nerves.
Little did the Democrat Party politician know that he was in for a bigger headache, after Papua New Guinean authorities deported him two days later on Friday for “illegal stay”, or illegally entering the country without visa or other proper documents.
Lukas has come clean about the incident. “I went to [Papua New Guinea] to get foot massage therapy for the nerves on my feet, just as I regularly go to Jakarta to get therapy for my neural nerves," he said.
"I went [to Papua New Guinea] with my relative Hedrik Abodondifu and associate Eli Wenda, as well as [Indonesia consul to Papua New Guinea Allen Simarmata]."
Lukas added that he “headed to Vanimo in Papua New Guinea with an ojek or motorcycle taxi driver, which I knew broke protocol with my standing as a senior government official. But then again, I headed to Papua New Guinea for health reasons, so I have no choice.”
Allen verified Lukas, but maintained that he “only knew Lukas was in Papua New Guinea when I escorted him to the Skouw border crossing towards Indonesia."
Failing to go incognito
Lukas maintained that he headed to Vanimo on the sly. But visit was not exactly discreet, as his photo was taken in front of the town’s Medallion Hotel before he headed back to Indonesian Papua via the Skouw border crossing, which is a short hop to Jayapura, the provincial capital.
There was no indication of his predicament until Indonesian immigration officials in Papua disclosed about the nature of his exit from Papua.