Nigerian presidential candidate Peter Obi has pledged to rid Africa’s most populous nation of endemic corruption and widespread insecurity if he wins next month’s election.

Obi, who is one of 18 candidates seeking Nigeria’s highest office, described his country as “a failing state” in need of new political leadership during a speech on Monday

“Unless we change the politics by changing the political leadership, we are stuck in this terrible state of underdevelopment and misery,” said Obi

Polls have shown Obi leading the crowded field ahead of the ruling party’s candidate, Bola Tinubu, and the main opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar

On Monday, Obi said he would conduct a dialogue with the secessionists, and he promised to introduce a range of security reforms,

especially in the troubled north, where thousands of people have been killed by armed gangs in the past year.

Those changes could encourage members of Nigeria’s large diaspora communities to consider returning home and aiding development, he said.