Diocese of Ahiara
|Territory||Mbaise, Imo State|
|Metropolitan||Archbishop of Owerri|
|Area||425 km2 (164 sq mi)|
- Catholics (including non-members)
|(as of 2004)|
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||18 November 1987|
|Cathedral||Mater Ecclesiae Cathedral|
|Apostolic Administrator||Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji|
Ahiara is in Imo State which is shown in red.
- Bishop Victor Adibe Chikwe (18 November 1987 – 16 September 2010)
- Bishop Peter Okpaleke (7 December 2012 – 19 February 2018)
- Apostolic Administrators
Appointment controversy 2012-2018
Between 2012 and 2018, the clergy and laity of the diocese had refused to accept the bishop appointed as their ordinary, Peter Ebere Okpaleke, because he is not of the Mbaise ethnic group or chosen from among the local priests.
On 8 June 2017, Pope Francis, having received a delegation from the Diocese, gave all members of the diocesan clergy (priests and deacons) 30 days to personally write to the Vatican pledging obedience to the Pope and accepting Bishop Okpaleke. Those who failed to write would be suspended a divinis (which would prohibit a priest or deacon from administering any of the Sacraments, save for a priest hearing the Confession of a person in danger of death), and would be removed from their posts. He had considered suppressing the diocese, but decided against that idea.  On 8 July, it was reported that while the letter of apology was sent, the appointment of Bishop Okpalaeke was still rejected by the local priests who insisted that the Vatican was enforcing racial discrimination in the country by hiring outsider priests to become Bishops.
On 22 July 2017 Pope Francis agreed to respond through emissaries to the individual priests protesting Bishop Okpaleke's appointment. Two days later, Barr Chizoba Nnagboh, chairman of the Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria (CLCN), described the words and actions of the dissenting clergy to be scandalous and disgraceful.
On 14 February 2018, Bishop Okpaleke submitted his resignation in a letter to Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi, Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria. He said: "I do not think that my apostolate in a diocese where a group of priests and lay faithful are very ill disposed to have me in their midst would be effective." On 19 February 2018, Pope Francis accepted Okpaleke's resignation. On 5 March 2020, however, Pope Francis appointed Okpaleke as Bishop of the newly created Roman Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia. Okpaleke was installed as Bishop of Ekwulobia on 29 April.
- Acta Apostolicae Sedis (PDF). LXXX. 1988. pp. 6–7. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- "Bishop Victor Adibe Chikwe Dies at 72". Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria. 20 August 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- "Rinunce e Nomine, 07.12.2012" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- "Resignations and Appointments, 19.02.2018" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 19 February 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- "Rinunce e Nomine, 03.07.2013" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- "Holy See Press Office Communiqué: Audience with delegation from the diocese of Ahiara, Nigeria, 08.06.2017" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- "Nigeria: Pope Accepts Resignation of Bishop, Appoints Administrator". Zenit. 19 February 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
- "Pope Francis appoints ex-Ahiara bishop, Okpaleke, head new Ekwulobia diocese". The Sun Nigeria. 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
- San Martín, Inés (5 May 2020). "Nigerian bishop rejected by Ahiara diocese installed as Bishop of Ekwulobia". Crux. Retrieved 6 May 2020.