Less than a fortnight after Kent Hodge was caught in a roadside militia ambush in Nigeria, the Deniliquin missionary narrowly avoided a deadly terrorist attack.ZOE MCMAUGH May 23, 2014 3:55am
Deniliquin missionary Kent Hodge was just 15km from two terrorist bomb attacks which killed 118 people in the town of Jos in Nigeria on Wednesday.
Mr Hodge is in the terror-stricken African nation leading the Christian Faith Ministries.
He was sitting in his office when he heard and felt two massive explosions.
The bombings arrived less than a fortnight after Mr Hodge, Deniliquin doctor Sydney Paul and two other Nigerian men were caught in a roadside militia ambush on May 11.
The car they were travelling in was sprayed with machine gun fire, killing the driver, Emmanuel Razack.
Mr Hodge’s wife Ruth, at home in Deniliquin this week, said she spoke to her husband Wednesday night after learning about the car bomb attacks earlier that day.
‘‘He is safe but the attacks have hit home for the (Christian Faith Ministries) staff.
‘‘The wife of one of our staff members has a shop there (near the blast), and she had just left. One of the cars was parked right outside her shop. If she had been there she would be dead.
‘‘One of the pastors from Jos lost his daughter in the attack.’’
An initial car bomb detonation was followed up by secondary bombs, believed to have been designed to hit rescuers and medical personnel.
The attacks are being blamed on Islamic militant group Boko Haram, the same group to admit it kidnapped more than 300 girls from a Christian school in Chibok, Nigeria.
Mrs Hodge said while the attack was carried out by an Islamic group, she believes religion is not the reason behind it.
‘‘It’s just terrorism, plain and simple,’’ she said.
‘‘I woke up at midnight and checked my emails and Facebook when I saw news about the attack.
‘‘I rang Kent and was able to speak to him. He is helping look after people. There are still a lot of people who need help, so he can’t just leave.
‘‘Our friend Emmanuel will be buried this Saturday. He led the Christian Faith Ministries with Kent so there’s still a lot of work to be done.
‘‘Kent’s also still waiting for his passport to be replaced.’’
Mr Hodge’s passport was stolen in the May 11 ambush, when a Nigerian militant group opened fire on their car. Theirs was not the only car involved as the gunmen blocked a road.
Mr Hodge reported to his wife the militants were Fulani, saying they spoke in Fulbe language used only by Fulani people.
People were forced out of the cars, including Dr Paul, Mr Hodge and their friend Pastor Josie, and all items of value were stolen before they were forced to walk into the surrounding bushland.
Dr Paul’s passport was hidden in a bumbag, and he was able to flee Nigeria. He has been in India staying with his in-laws ever since and is expected back in Deniliquin today.
Greater Shepparton City Council has responded to a Facebook post slamming the organisation’s pound euthanasia rate.
The Australian Cricket Association has made the decision to postpone the Masters events scheduled for Yarrawonga this weekend in light of the serious injury to Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes.
Last week Victorian Collections passed a major milestone, with the 50000th historical object record from the state’s heritage collections uploaded to the site.
Shaun Burke, Paul Margetts, John McPherson, Peter Nesbitt and Keith Baillie spoke at Tuesday's Campaspe Shire White Ribbon Day event.
Rochester Secondary College students have finished their final exams, taking the time to relax.
Candidate for Northern Victoria Robert Danielli lays out the issues facing the region
The porblems of recent years hopefully a thing of the past.
No luck for Finley in Murray Valley cricket.
Heathcote and District Community Bank Scholarship recipient Tarlyn Grant is encouraging others to apply
A soaring new sculpture is on track to bring pride, visitors and environmental awareness to Katamatite.
SunRice chair Gerry Lawson announced his pending retirement from the board overnight.
A spring Future Orchards walks will be held at Coomboona on Friday November 28 from 9.30am.
The surpsingly vindictive but highly satisfying sport of croquet is being enjoyed by more residents of Benalla the the Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.