A Vatican statement said the pope had accepted the resignation of Peter Ebere Okpaleke as bishop of the diocese of Ahiara. It said the position had been declared vacant and that a papal administrator would run it for the time being.
Many priests and faithful had refused to swear allegiance to Okpaleke because he is not from Mbaise, a heavily Catholic area in southwestern Nigeria made up of an amalgam of indigenous clans connected by intermarriage.
Okpaleke was appointed bishop by then-pope Benedict in 2012, but the protests prevented him from ever taking over the diocese. His installation ceremony took place in another area of Nigeria because the doors of the Ahiara cathedral were locked so the bishop could not enter.
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