Vanuatu deports Solomons self-proclaimed pastor

A SOLOMON Islands national was deported from Vanuatu yesterday afternoon by immigration officials for breaching immigration laws.

Martine Nehemiah, arrived in Vanuatu in 2013 and was able to convince local politicians to grant him a special open visa to travel in and out of Vanuatu.

His coming to Vanuatu was impelled by a visit to his home village of Koyo in Guadalcanal by the Presbyterian Paama Seaside Men’s Fellowship in 2013.

He later proclaimed himself a pastor after encountering unfavorable relationship with the Port Vila Presbyterian Session and formed his own evangelical prayer ministry and resided in different places in Port Vila.

Martine, known in Vanuatu as pastor Martine, had closely knitted himself with certain prominent political leaders.  He was actively running prayer crusades around Port Vila.

When the 14 convicted politicians were remanded and waiting for the Appeal’s Court judgment, “pastor Martine” maneuvered the wives and families of the convicts to conduct prayer and fasting sessions, promising their release but that came to no avail.

Sources confirmed he had been soliciting funds from people who went to him to pray for their miseries and from tithes paid into his ministry.

Within 3 and half years of his ministry in Vanuatu, Martine had fathered 4 children with separate young Vanuatu female followers – thus triggering concerns amongst community members and families of his victims.

Christian church leaders in Vanuatu were alarmed when advised about the activities and practices of the so-called “pastor”.

Immigration authorities acted on complaints they had received and discovered that the self-proclaimed pastor has had in his possession a special visa outside the special visa categories specified under the Immigration Act.

Government sources say Martine’s deportation had been delayed until yesterday because of his frequent moves to different locations. But that was short-lived when he was seen escorted by immigration officials to the Bauerfield Airport to catch the afternoon Air Pacific flight to Suva where he will be transiting on his return to his wife and three children in Honiara.

Meanwhile, a community leader of the Paama Seaside Men’s Fellowship has described the situation as “unfortunate”, adding that he had been warned by a Solomon Islands pastor during their visit in 2013 of Martine’s engagement with the group. Martine was the group’s guide during their two-week stay.

Isaac says Martine’s deportation came as no surprise following the experiences encountered with the Port Vila session of the Presbyterian Church.

Source: Loop Vanuatu